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Presented  to  the 
LIBRARY  of  the 






OF    THE 




F.     GILL     &     COMPAKY, 

(LATE     SHEl-AED  &  GrLL,) 





Entered  according  to  Act  of  Congress,  in  the  year  1874,  by 

In  the  office  of  the  Librarian  of  Congress,  at  Washington. 

Printers    and    Stercotypcrs,    Boston. 


.  THE  kindly  reception  given  to  me  personally 
throughout  those  portions  of  the  United  States  it  has 
yet  been  my  good  fortune  to  visit,  tempts  me  to 
comply  with  the  request'  of  many  friends,  that  I 
should  issue  here  an  edition  of  my  impeachment  of 
the  reigning  family  in  England.  The  matter  con- 
tained in  these  pages  has  been  delivered  orally 
throughout  Great  Britain,  and,  with  one  exception, 
no  reply  has  been  offered  to  it.  Abuse  has  been 
plentiful,  and  threats  of  prosecution  not  infrequent  ; 
but  although  at  least  one  hundred  and  fifty  thousand 
persons  have  listened  to  the  lectures,  and  four  edi- 
tions of  the  pamphlet  have  been  exhausted  in  Eng- 
land, only  one  attempt  was  made,  in  the  Gentleman's 
Magazine,  to  advance  any  kind  of  reply.  And  even 
in  this  case,  when  a  formal  written  discussion  had 
been  commenced,  the  editor  of  the  Gentleman's  Mag- 
azine refused  to  allow  any  rejoinder  to  his  second 

It  is  sometimes  alleged  against  me  that  the  pam- 
phlet is  a  too  personal  criticism  ;  my  answer  is  that 
in  every  case  the  points  dealt  with  have  affected  our 
national  honor,  or  augmented  our  national  taxation. 


This  pamphlet  is  not  a  Republican  one ;  it  is  only 
an  indictment  alleging  the  incapacity  and  viciousness 
of  the  House  of  Brunswick,  and  a  statement  of  the 
legal  right  of  the  British  people  to  dethrone  the 
succession  on  a  vacancy  arising. 

That  I  am  a  Republican  is  perfectly  true ;  that  I 
believe  a  Republican  form  of  government  to  be 
possible,  by  peaceful  means  in  England,  is  well- 
known  to  those  who  have  heard  my  lectures ;  and,  in 
issuing  this  essay  to  American  readers,  I  desire  to 
show  that  there  are  no  reasons  of  personal  loyalty, 
there  is  no  plea  of  gratitude  for  personal  service,  which 
ought  to  be  urged  on  behalf  of  George  I.  and  his 

English  by  birth,  by  hope  and  in  ambition,  I  seek 
to  win  from  th*e  descendants  of  those  who  broke  loose 
from  the  Brunswicks  nearly  a  century  ago,  sympathy 
for  those  who  work  with  me  now  to  a  like  end.  If  I 
fail,  the  fault  is  in  the  weakness  of  my  tongue  and 
pen,  and  not  from  any  defects  in  the  cause  I  advo- 

The  more  than  fair  hearing  given  to  my  voice 
emboldens  me  to  hope  a  patient  investigation  of  the 
case  my  pen  presents ;  and  should  a  verdict  be  given 
on  this  great  continent  unfavorable  to  me,  I  feel 
confident  the  jury  of  my  readers  will  patiently  weigh 
my  statements  before  delivering  their  judgment. 







BY  statutes  of  the  12  and  13  Will.  III.,  and  6  Anne  c.  11, 


Article  2,  the  British  Parliament,  limiting  the  monarchy  to 
members  of  the  Church  of  England,  excluded  the  Stuarts, 
and  from  and  aftor  the  death  of  King  William  and  the 
Princess  Anne  without  heirsfcontrived  that  the  Crown  of 
this  kingdom  should  devolve  upon  the  Princess  Sophia, 
Duchess  Dowager  of  Hanover,  and  the  heirs  of  her  body, 
being  Protestants.  Heirs  failing  to  Anne,  although  seven- 
teen times  pregnant,  and  Sophia  dying  about  seven  weeks 
before  Anne,  her  son  George  succeeded  under  these  Acts 
as  George  I.  of  England  and  Scotland. 

It  is  said,  and  perhaps  truly,  that  the  German  Protestant 
Guelph  was  an  improvement  on  the  Catholic  Stuart,  and  the 
Whigs  take  credit  for  having  effected  this  change  in  spite 
of  the  Tories.  This  credit  they  deserve ;  but  it  must  not  be 
forgotten  that  it  was  scarce  half  a  century  before  that  the 
entire  aristocracy,  including  the  patriotic  Whigs,  coalesced 
to  restore  to  the  throne  the  Stuarts,  who  had  been  got  rid 
of  under  Cromwell.  If  this  very  aristocracy,  of  which  the 
Whigs  form  part,  had  never  assisted  in  calling  back  the 
Stuarts  in  the  person  of  Charles  II.,  there  would  have  been 
no  need  to  thank  them  for  again  turning  that  family  out. 


The  object  of  the  present  essay  is  to  submit  reasons  for 
the  repeal  of  the  Acts  of  Settlement  and  Union,  so  far  as 
the  succession  to  the  throne  is  concerned,  after  the  abdi- 
cation or  demise  of  the  present  monarch.  It  is  of  course 
assumed,  as  a  point  upon  which  all  supporters  of  the  pres- 
ent Koyal  Family  will  agree,  that  the  right  to  deal  with  the 
throne  is  inalienably  vested  in  the  English  people,  to  be 
exercised  by  them  through  their  representatives  in  Parlia- 
ment. The  right  of  the  members  of  the  House  of  Bruns- 
wick to  succeed  to  the  throne  is  a  right  accruing  only  from 
the  acts  of  Settlement  and  Union,  it  being  clear  that,  ex- 
cept from  this  statute,  they  have  no  claim  to  the  throne. 
It  is  therefore  submitted,  that  should  Parliament  in  its  wis- 
dom see  fit  to  enact  that  after  the  death  or  abdication  of 
her  present  Majesty,  the  throne  shall  no  longer  be  filled  by 
a  member  of  the  House  of  Brunswick,  such  an  enactment 
would  be  perfectly  within  the  competence  of  Parliament. 
It  is  further  submitted  that  the  Parliament  has  full  and  un- 
controllable authority  to  make  any  enactment,  and  to  repeal 
any  enactment  heretofore  made,  even  if  such  new  statute, 
or  the  repeal  of  any  old  statute,  should  in  truth  change 
the  constitution  of  the  Empire,  or  modify  the  character  and 
powers  of  either  Parliamentary  Chamber.  The  Parliament 
of  the  English  Commonwealth,  which  met  on  April  25th, 
1660,  gave  the  Crown  to  Charles  H.,  and  the  Parliament 
of  the  British  Monarchy  has  the  undoubted  right  to  with- 
hold the  Crown  from  Albert  Edward,  Prince  of  "Wales. 
The  Convention  which  assembled  at  Westminster  on  Jan- 
uary 22d,  1688,  took  away  the  crown  from  James  II.,  and 
passed  over  his  son,  the  then  Prince  of  Wales,  as  if  he  had 
been  non-existent.  This  Convention  was  declared  to  have 
all  the  authority  of  Parlia  ^nt  —  ergo,  Parliament  has  ad- 
mittedly the  right  to  deprive  a  living  King  of  his  Crown, 


and  to  treat  a  Prince  of  Wales  as  having  no  claim  to  the 

In  point  of  fact  two  of  the  clauses  of  the  Act  of  Settle- 
ment were  repealed  in  the  reign  of  Queen  Anne,  and  a  third 
clause  was  repealed  early  in  the  reign  of  George  I.,  show- 
ing that  this  particular  statute  has  never  been  considered 
immutable  or  irrepealable.  It  is  right  to  add  that  the 
clauses  repealed  were  only  of  consequence  to  the  nation, 
and  that  their  repeal  was  no  injury  to  the  Crown.  The  un- 
bounded right  of  the  supreme  Legislature  to  enlarge  its 
own  powers  was  contended  for  and  admitted  in  1716,  when 
the  duration  of  Parliament  was  extended  four  years,  a  tri- 
ennial Parliament  declaring  itself  and  all  future  Parliaments 
septennial.  Furthermore,  it  has  been  held  to  be  sedition  to 
deny  the  complete  authority  of  the  Irish  Parliament  to  put 
an  end  to  its  own  existence. 

It  has  been  admitted  to  be  within  the  jurisdiction  of  Par- 
liament to  give  electoral  privileges  to  citizens  theretofore 
unenfranchised ;  Parliament  claims  the  unquestioned  right 
to  disfranchise  persons,  hitherto  electors,  for  misconduct  in 
the  exercise  of  electoral  rights,  and  in  its  pleasure  to  re- 
move and  annul  any  electoral  disability.  The  right  of  Par- 
liament to  decrease  or  increase  the  number  of  representa- 
tives for  any  borough  has  never  been  disputed,  and  its 
authority  to  decrease  the  number  of  Peers  sitting  and  vot- 
ing in  the  House  of  Lords  was  recognized  in  passing  the 
Irish  Church  Disestablishment  Bill,  by  which  several  Bish- 
ops were  summarily  ejected  from  amongst  the  Peers.  It  is 
now  submitted  that  Parliament  possesses  no  Legislative 
right  but  what  it  derives  from  the  people,  and  that  the 
people  are  under  no  irrevocable  contract  or  obligation  to 
continue  any  member  of  the.. House  of  Brunswick  on  the 
throne.  In  order  to  show  thau  this  is  not  a  solitary  opin- 
ion, the  following  Parlimentary  dicta  are  given :  — 


The  Honorable  Temple  Luttrell,  in  a  speech  made  in  the 
House  of  Commons,  on  the  7th  November,  1775,  showed 
"that  of  thirty-three  sovereigns   since  William  the  Con- 
queror, thirteen  only  have  ascended  the  throne  by  divine 
hereditary  right.     .     .     .    The  will  of  the  people,  super- 
seding any  hereditary  claim  to  succession,  at  the  com- 
mencement of  the  twelfth  century  placed  Henry  I.  on  the 
throne,"  and  this  subject  to  conditions  as  to  laws  to  be 
made  by  Henry.    King  John  was  compelled  "  solemnly  to 
register  an  assurance  of  the  ancient  rights  of  the  people  in 
a  formal  manner-;"  and  this  necessary  work  was  accom- 
plished by  the  Congress  at  Runnymede,  in  the  year  1115. 
"  Sir,  in  the  reign  of  Henry  III.  (about  the  year  1223),  the 
barons,  clergy  and  freeholders,  understanding  that  the  King, 
as  Earl  of  Poictou,  had  landed  some  of  his  continental 
troops  in  the  western  ports  of  England,  with  a  design  to 
strengthen  a  most  odious  and  arbitrary  set  of  ministers, 
they  assembled  in  a  Convention  or  Congress,  from  whence 
they  despatched  deputies  to  King  Henry,  declaring  that  if 
he  did  not  immediately  send  back  those  Poictouvians,  and 
remove  from  his  person  and  councils  evil  advisers,  they 
would  place  upon  the  throne  a  Prince  who  should  better 
observe  the  laws  of  the  land.    Sir,  the  King  not  only  heark- 
ened to  that  Congress,  but  shortly  after  complied  with 
every  article  of  their  demand,  and  publicly  notified  his  ref- 
ormation.   Now,  Sir,  what  are  we  to  call  that  assembly 
which  dethroned  Edward  H.  when  the  Archbishop  of  Can- 
terbury preached  a  sermon  on  this  Text,  '  The  voice  of  the 
people  is  the  voice  of  God'?"  "A  Prince  of  the  house  of 
Lancaster  was  invited  over  from  banishment,  and  elected 
by  the  people  to  the  throne  "  on  the  fall  of  Richard  H.     "I 
shall  next  proceed  to  the  general  Convention  and  Congress, 
which,  in  1461,  enthroned  the  Earl  of  March  by  the  name 
of  Edward  IV.,  the  Primate  of  all  England  collecting  the  suf- 


frages  of  the  people."  "  In  1659,  a  Convention  or  Con- 
gress restored  legal  Monarchy  in  the  person  of  Charles 

"William  Pitt,  on  the  16th  December,  1788,  being  then 
Chancellor  of  the  Exchequer,  contended  that  "  the  right  of 
providing  for  the  deficiency  of  Royal  authority  rested  with 
the  two  remaining  branches  of  the  Legislature  ;  "  and  again, 
"  on  the  disability  of  the  Sovereign,  where  was  the  right  to 
be  found  ?  It  was  to  be  found  in  the  voice,  in  the  sense  of 
the  people  ;  with  them  it  rested."  On  the  22d  December, 
Mr.  Pitt  said  that  Mr.  Fox  had  contended  that  "  the  two 
Houses  of  Parliament  cannot  proceed  to  legislate  without  a 
King."  His  (Mr.  Pitt's)  answer  was :  "  The  conduct  of 
the  Revolution  had  contradicted  that  assertion  ;  they  had 
acted  legislatively,  and,  no  King  being  present,  they  must, 
consequently,  have  acted  without  a  King." 

Mr.  Hardinge,  a  barrister  of  great  repute,  and  afterwards 
Solicitor-General  and  Judge,  in  the  same  debate,  said : 
"  The  virtues  of  our  ancestors  and  the  genius  of  the  Gov- 
ernment accurately  understood,  a  century  ago,  had  prompted 
the  Lords  and  Commons  of  the  realm  to  pass  a  law 
without  a  King ;  and  a  law  which,  as  he  had  always  read 
it,  had  put  upon  living  record  this  principle :  '  That  when- 
ever the  supreme  executive  hand  shall  have  lost  its  power 
to  act,  the  people  of  the  land,  fully  and  freely  represented, 
can  alone  repair  the  defect.' " 

On  the  26th  December,  in  the  House  of  Lords,  discussing 
the  power  to  exclude  a  sitting  Monarch  from  the  throne, 
the  Earl  of  Abingdon  said :  "  Will  a  King  exclude  himself? 
No !  no  1  my  Lords,  that  exclusion  appertains  to  us  and  to 
the  other  House  of  Parliament  exclusively.  It  is  to  us  it 
belongs  ;  it  is  our  duty.  It  is  the  business  of  the  Lords  and 
Commons  of  Great  Britain,  and  of  us  alone,  as  the  trustees 
and  representatives  of  the  nation."  And  following  up  this 


argument,  Lord  Abingdon  contended  that  in  the  contin- 
gency he  was  alluding  to,  "  the  right  to  new  model  or  alter 
the  succession  vests  in  the  Parliament  of  England  without 
the  King,  in  the  Lords  and  Commons  of  Great  Britain 
solely  and  exclusively." 

Lord  Stormont,  in  the  same  debate,  pointed  out  that  Wil- 
liam HE.  "  possessed  no  other  right  to  the  throne  than  that 
which  he  derived  from  the  votes  of  the  two  Houses." 

The  Marquis  of  Lansdowne  said :  "  One  of  the  best  con- 
stitutional writers  we  had  was  Mr.  Justice  Foster,  who, 
in  his  book  on  the  *  Principles  of  the  Constitution,'  denies 
the  right  even  of  hereditary  succession,  and  says  it  is  no 
right  whatever,  but  merely  a  political  expedient.  .  .  .  The 
Crown,  Mr.  Justice  Foster  said,  was  not  merely  a  descend- 
able property  like  a  laystall,  or  a  pigstye,  but  was  put  in 
trust  for  millions,  and  for  the  happiness  of  ages  yet  unborn, 
which  Parliament  has  it  always  in  its  power  to  mould,  to 
shape,  to  alter,  to  fashion,  just  as  it  shall  think  proper. 
And  in  speaking  of  Parliament,"  his  Lordship  said,  "  Mr. 
Justice  Foster  repeatedly  spoke  of  the  two  Houses  of  Par- 
liament only." 

My  object  being  to  procure  the  repeal  of  the  only  title 
under  which  any  member  of  the  House  of  Brunswick  could 
claim  to  succeed  the  present  sovereign  on  the  throne,  or 
else  to  procure  a  special  enactment  which  shall  for  the  fu- 
ture exclude  the  Brunswicks,  as  the  Stuarts  were  excluded 
in  1688  and  1701,  the  following  grounds  are  submitted  as 
justifying  and  requiring  such  repeal  or  new  enactment :  — 

1st.  That  during  the  one  hundred  and  fifty-seven  years 
the  Brunswick  family  have  reigned  over  the  British  Empire, 
the  policy  and  conduct  of  the  majority  of  the  members  of 
that  family,  and  especially  of  the  various  reigning  members, 
always  saving  and  excepting  her  present  Majesty,  have 
been  hostile  to  the  welfare  of  the  mass  of  the  people.  This 


will  be  sought  to  be  proved  at  length  by  a  sketch  of  the 
principal  events  in  the  reign  of  each  monarch,  from  August 
1st,  1714,  to  the  present  date. 

2d.  That  during  the  same  period  of  one  hundred  and 
fifty-seven  years,  fifteen-sixteenths  of  the  entire  National 
Debt  have  been  created,  and  that  this  debt  is  in  great  part 
the  result  of  wars  arising  from  the  mischievous  and  pro- 
Hanoverian  policy  of  the  Brunswick  family. 

3d.  That  in  consequence  of  the  incompetence  or  want  of 
desire  for  governmental  duty  on  the  part  of  the  various 
reigning  members  of  the  House  of  Brunswick,  the  govern- 
ing power  of  the  country  has  been  practically  limited  to  a 
few  families,  who  have  used  government  in  the  majority  of 
instances  as  a  system  of  machinery  for  securing  place  and 
^pension  for  themselves  and  their  associates ;  while  it  is 
submitted  that  government  should  be  the  best  contrivance 
of  national  wisdom  for  the  alleviation  of  national  suffering 
and  promotion  of  national  happiness.  Earl  Grey  even  ad- 
mits that  "  Our  national  annals,  since  the  Revolution  of 
1688,  present  a  sad  picture  of  the  selfishness,  baseness  and 
corruption  of  the  great  majority  of  the  actors  on  the  politi- 
cal stage." 

4th.  That  a  huge  pension  list  has  been  created,  the  recip- 
ients of  the  largest  pensions  being  in  most  cases  persons 
who  are  already  members  of  wealthy  families,  and  who 
have  done  nothing  whatever  to  justify  their  being  kept  in 
idleness  at  the  national  expense,  while  so  many  workers  in 
the  agricultural  districts  are  in  a  state  of  semi-starvation ; 
so  many  toilers  in  large  works  in  Wales,  Scotland,  and 
some  parts  of  England,  are  in  constant  debt  and  depend- 
ence ;  and  while  large  numbers  of  the  Irish  peasantry  — 
having  for  many  generations  been  denied  life  at  home  — 
have  until  lately  been  driven  to  seek  those  means  of 


existence  across  the  sea  which  their  own  fertile  land  should 
have  amply  provided  for  them. 

5th.  That  the  monarchs  of  the  Brunswick  family  have 
been,  except  in  a  few  cases  of  vicious  interference,  costly 
puppets,  useful  only  to  the  governing  aristocracy  as  a  cloak 
to  shield  the  real  wrong  doers  from  the  just  reproaches  of 
the  people. 

6th.  That  the  Brunswick  family  have  shown  themselves 
utterly  incapable  of  initiating  or  encouraging  wise  legisla- 
tion. That  George  I.  was  shut  out  practically  from  the 
government  by  his  utter  ignorance  of  the  English  language, 
his  want  of  sympathy  with  British  habits,  and  his  frequent 
absences  from  this  country.  A  volume  of  history,  published 
by  Messrs.  Longmans  in  1831,  says  that  "  George  I.  con- 
tinued a  German  princeling  on  the  British  throne  — 
surrounded  still  by  his  petty  Hanoverian  satellites,  and  so 
ignorant  even  of  the  language  of  his  new  subjects,  that  his 
English  minister,  who  understood  neither  French  nor  Ger- 
man, could  communicate  with  him  only  by  an  imperfect 
jargon  of  barbarous  Latin."  He  "  discarded  his  wife,  and 
had  two  mistresses  publicly  installed  in  their  Court  rights 
and  privileges."  Earl  Grey  declares  that  "  the  highly  bene- 
ficial practice  of  holding  Cabinet  Councils  without  the  pres- 
ence of  the  sovereign  arose  from  George  the  First's  not 
knowing  English."  Leslie  describes  George  I.  as  altogether 
ignorant  of  our  language,  laws,  customs  and  constitution. 
Madame  de  Maintenon  writes  of  him  as  disgusted  with  his 
subjects.  That  George  II.  was  utterly  indifferent  to  Eng- 
lish improvement,  and  was  mostly  away  in  Hanover.  Lord 
Hervey's  "  Memoirs "  portray  him  as  caring  for  nothing 
but  soldiers  and  women,  and  declare  that  his  highest  ambi- 
tion was  to  combine  the  reputation  of  a  great  general  with 
that  of  a  successful  libertine.  That  George  III.  was 
repeatedly  insane,  and  that  in  his  officially  lucid  moments 


his  sanity  was  more  dangerous  to  England  than  his  mad- 
ness. Buckle  says  of  him  that  he  was  "  despotic  as  well  as 
superstitious.  .  .  .  Every  liberal  sentiment,  everything 
approaching  to  reform,  nay,  even  the  mere  mention  of 
inquiry,  was  an  abomination  in  the  eyes  of  that  narrow  and 
ignorant  prince."  Lord  Grenville,  his  Prime  Minister,  said 
of  him :  "  He  had  perhaps  the  narrowest  mind  of  any  man 
I  ever  knew."  That  George  IV.  was  a  dissipated,  drunken 
debauchee,  bad  husband,  unfaithful  lover,  untrustworthy 
friend,  unnatural  father,  corrupt  regent,  and  worse  king. 
Buckle  speaks  of  "  the  incredible  baseness  of  that  ignoble 
voluptuary."  That  William  IV.  was  obstinate,  but  for- 
tunately fearful  of  losing  his  crown,  gave  way  to  progress 
with  a  bad  grace  when  chicanery  was  no  longer  possible, 
and  continued  resistance  became  dangerous. 

7th.  That  under  the  Brunswick  family,  the  national 
expenditure  has  increased  to  a  frightful  extent,  while  our 
best  possessions  in  America  have  been  lost,  and  our  home 
possession,  Ireland,  rendered  chronic  in  its  discontent  by 
the  terrible  misgovernment  under  the  four  Georges. 

And  8th.  That  the  ever  increasing  burden  of  the  national 
taxation  has  been  shifted  from  the  land  on  to  the  shoulders 
of  the  middle  and  lower  classes,  the  landed  aristocracy 
having,  until  very  lately,  enjoyed  the  practical  monopoly 
of  tax-levying  power. 


THE    REIGN    OF     GEORGE    I. 

ON  August  1st,  1714,  George  Lewis,  Elector  of  Hanover, 
and  great-grandson  of  James  I.,  of  England,  succeeded  to 
the  throne ;  but  being  apparently  rather  doubtful  as  to  the 


reception  he  would  meet  in  this  country,  he  delayed  visiting 
his  new  dominions  until  the  month  of  October.  In  April, 
1714,  there  was  so  little  disposition  in  favor  of  the  newly- 
chosen  dynasty,  that  the  Earl  of  Oxford  entreated  George 
not  to  bring  any  of  his  family  into  this  country  without 
Queen  Anne's  express  consent.  It  seems  strange  to  read 
in  the  correspondence  of  Madame  Elizabeth  Charlotte, 
Duchesse  d'Orleans,  her  hesitation  "  to  rejoice  at  the 
accession  of  our  Prince  George,  for  she  had  no  confidence 
in  the  English ; "  and  her  fears  "  that  the  inconstancy  of 
the  English  will  in  the  end  produce  some  scheme  which 
may  be  injurious  to  the  French  monarchy."  She  adds : 
"  If  the  English  were  to  be  trusted,  I  should  say  that  it  is 
fortunate  the  Parliaments  are  in  favor  of  George,  but  the 
more  one  reads  the  history  of  English  revolutions,  the 
more  one  is  compelled  to  remark  the  eternal  hatred  which 
the  people  of -that  nation  have  had  towards  their  kings,  as 
well  as  their  fickleness."  To-day  it  is  the  English  who 
charge  the  French  with  fickleness.  Thackeray  says  of 
George  I.  that  "•  he  showed  an  uncommon  prudence  and 
coolness  of  behavior  when  he  came  into  his  kingdom,  exhib- 
iting no  elation ;  reasonably  doubtful  whether  he  should  not 
be  turned  out  some  day ;  looking  upon  himself  only  as  a 
lodger,  and  making  the  most  of  his  brief  tenure  of  St. 
James's  and  Hampton  Court,  plundering,  it  is  true,  some- 
what, and  dividing  amongst  his  German  followers ;  but 
what  could  be  expected  of  a  sovereign  who  at  home  could 
sell  his  subjects  at  so  many  ducats  per  head,  and  make  no 
scruple  in  so  disposing  of  them?"  At  the  accession  of 
George  I.  the  national  debt  of  this  country,  exclusive  of 
annuities,  was  about  £36,000,000 ;  after  five  Brunswicks 
have  left  us,  it  is  £800,000,000  for  Great  Britain  and  Ire- 
land, and  much  more  than  £110,000,000  for  India.  The 
average  annual  national  expenditure  under  the  rule  of 


George  I.  was  £5,923,079  ;  to-day  it  is  more  than  £70,000,- 
000,  of  which  more  than  £20,000,000  have  been  added  in 
the  last  twenty  years.  During  the  reign  of  George  I.  land 
paid  very  nearly  one-fourth  the  whole  of  the  taxes  ;  to-day 
it  pays  less  than  one-seventieth  part ;  and  yet,  while  its 
proportion  of  the  burden  is  so  much  lighter,  its  exaction 
from  labor  in  rent  is  ten  times  heavier. 

George  I.  came  to  England  without  his  wife,  the  Princess 
of  Zelle.  Years  before,  he  had  arrested  her  and  placed  her 
in  close  confinement  in  Ahlden  Castle,  on  account  of  her 
intrigue  with  Philip,  Count  Konigsmark,  whom  some  say 
George  I.  suspected  of  being  the  actual  father  of  the  Electo- 
ral Prince  George ,  afterwards  George  II.  To  use  the  language 
of  a  writer  patronized  by  George,  Prince  of  Wales,  in  1808, 
"  The  coldness  between  George  I.  and  his  son  and  suc- 
cessor, George  II.,  may  be  said  to  have  been  almost  coeval 
with  the  existence  of  the  latter."  Our  King,  George  I.,  de- 
scribed by  Thackeray  as  a  "  cold,  selfish  libertine,"  had 
Konigsmark  murdered  in  the  palace  of  Heranhausen ;  con- 
fined his  wife,  at  twenty-eight  years  of  age,  in  a  dungeon, 
where  she  remained  until  she  was  sixty  ;  and  when  George 
Augustus,  Electoral  Prince  of  Hanover,  tried  to  get  access 
to  his  mother,  George  Lewis,  then  Elector  of  Hanover,  ar- 
rested Prince  George  also,  and  it  is  said,  would  have  put 
him  to  death  if  the  Emperor  of  Germany  had  not  protected 
him  as  a  Prince  of  the  German  Empire.  During  the  reign 
of  George  II.,  Frederick,  Prince  of  Wales,  whom  his  father 
denounced  as  a  "changeling,"  published  an  account  of  how 
George  I.  had  turned  Frederick's  father  out  of  the  palace. 
These  Guelphs  have  been  a  loving  family.  The  Edinburgh 
Review  declares  that  "  the  terms  on  which  the  eldest  sons 
of  this  family  have  always  lived  with  their  fathers  have 
been  those  of  distrust,  opposition,  and  hostility."  Even 
after  George  Lewis  had  ascended  the  throne  of  England, 


his  hatred  to  George  Augustus  was  so  bitter,  that  there 
•was  some  proposition  that  James,  Earl  Berkeley  and  Lord 
High  Admiral,  should  carry  off  the  Prince  to  America  and 
keep  him  there. 

Thackeray  says :  "  When  George  I.  made  his  first  visit  to 
Hanover,  his  son  was  appointed  regent  during  the  Royal 
absence.  But  this  honor  was  never  again  conferred  on  the 
Prince  of  "Wales  ;  he  and  his  father  fell  out  presently.  On 
the  occasion  of  the  christening  of  his  second  son,  a  Royal 
row  took  place,  and  the  Prince,  shaking  his  fist  in  the  Duke 
of  Newcastle's  face,  called  him  a  rogue,  and  provoked  his 
august  father.  He  and  his  wife  were  turned  out  of  St. 
James's,  and  their  princely  children  taken  from  them, 
by  order  of  the  Royal  head  of  the  family.  Father  and 
mother  wept  piteously  at  parting  from  their  little  ones. 
The  young  ones  sent  some  cherries,  with  their  love,  to  papa 
and  mamma,  the  parents  watered  the  fruit  with  their  tears. 
They  had  no  tears  thirty-five  years  afterwards,  when  Prince 
Frederick  died,  their  eldest  son,  their  heir,  their  enemy." 

A  satirical  ballad  on  the  expulsion  of  Prince  George  from 
St.  James's  Palace,  which  was  followed  by  the  death  of  the 
newly-christened  baby  Prince,  is  droll  enough  to  here  re- 
peat :  — 

The  King  then  took  his  gray  goose  quill, 
And  dip't  it  o'er  in  gall ; 

And,  by  Master  Vice  Chamberlain, 
He  sent  to  him  this  scrawl : 

"  Take  hence  yourself,  and  eke  your  spouse, 

Your  maidens  and  your  men ; 
Your  trunks,  and  all  your  trumpery, 

Except  your  chil-de-ren." 

The  Prince  secured  with  nimble  haste 

The  Artillery  Commission ; 
And  with  him  trudged  full  many  a  maid, 

But  not  one  politician. 


Up  leapt  Lepel,  and  frisked  away, 

As  though  she  ran  on  wheels ; 
Miss  Meadows  made  a  woful  face, 

Miss  Howe  took  to  her  heels. 

But  Belenden  I  needs  must  praise, 

Who,  as  down  stairs  she  jumps, 
Sang  "  O'er  the  hills  and  far  away," 

Despising  doleful  dumps. 

Then  up  the  street  they  took  their  way, 
And  knockt  up  good  Lord  Grant-ham ; 

Higgledy-piggledy  they  lay, 
And  all  went  rantam  scantam. 

Now  sire  and  son  had  played  their  part, 

What  could  befall  beside? 
Why,  the  poor  babe  took  this  to  heart, 

Kickt  up  its  heels,  and  died. 

Mahon,  despite  all  his  desire  to  make  out  the  best  for  the 
Whig  revolution  and  its  consequences,  occasionally  makes 
some  pregnant  admissions  :  "  The  jealousy  which  George  I. 
entertained  for  his  son  was  no  new  feeling.  It  had  existed 
even  at  Hanover,  and  had  since  been  inflamed  by  an  insid- 
ious motion  of  the  Tories  that  out  of  the  Civil  List  £100,- 
000  should  be  allotted  as  a  separate  revenue  for  the  Prince 
of  Wales.  This  motion  was  overruled  by  the  Ministerial 
party,  and  its  rejection  offended  the  Prince  as  much  as  its 
proposal  had  the  King.  ...  In  fact  it  is  remarkable  . 
.  .  that  since  that  family  has  reigned,  the  heirs-apparent 
have  always  been  on  ill  terms  with  the  sovereign.  There 
have  been  four  Princes  of  Wales  since  the  death  of  Anne, 
and  all  four  have  gone  into  bitter  opposition."  "That 
family,"  said  Lord  Carteret  one  day  in  full 
ways  has  quarrelled,  and  always  will  quarrel,  frojj 
tion  to  generation." 


"  Through  the  whole  of  the  reign  of  George  I.,  and 
through  nearly  half  of  the  reign  of  George  II.,"  says  Lord 
Macaulay,  "  a  Tory  was  regarded  as  the  enemy  of  the 
reigning  house,  and  was  excluded  from  all  the  favors  of 
the  Crown.  Though  most  of  the  country  gentlemen  were 
Tories,  none  but  Whigs  were  appointed  deans  and  bishops. 
In  every  County,  opulent  and  well-descended  Tory  squires 
complained  that  their  names  were  left  out  of  the  Commission 
of  the  Peace,  while  men  of  small  estate  and  of  mean  birth, 
who  were  for  toleration  and  excise,  septennial  parliaments 
and  standing  armies,  presided  at  Quarter  Sessions,  and 
became  deputy-lieutenants." 

In  attacking  the  Whigs,  my  object  is  certainly  not  to 
write  in  favor  of  the  Tories,  but  some  such  work  is  needful 
while  so  many  persons  labor  under  the  delusion  that  the 
Whigs  have  always  been  friends  to  liberty  and  progress. 

Although  George  I.  brought  with  him  no  wife  to  England, 
he  was  accompanied  by  at  least  two  of  his  mistresses,  and 
our  peerage  roll  was  enriched  by  the  addition  of  Madame 
Kielmansegge  as  Countess  of  Darlington,  and  Mademoi- 
selle Erangard  Melosine  de  Schulenberg  as  Duchess  of 
Kendal  and  Munster,  Baroness  of  Glastonbury,  and  Count- 
ess of  Feversham.  These  peeresses  were  received  with  high 
favor  by  the  Whig  aristocracy,  although  the  Tories  refused 
to  countenance  them,  and  "  they  were  often  hooted  by  the 
mob  as  they  passed  through  the  streets."  The  Edinburgh 
Review  described  them  as  "  two  big  blowsy  German 
women."  Here  I  have  no  room  to  deal  fairly  with  Char- 
lotte Sophia,  Baroness  of  Brentford  and  Countess  of  Darl- 
ington; her  title  is  extinct,  and  I  can  write  nothing  of 
any  good  or  useful  act  to  revive  her  memory.  Lord  Ches- 
terfield says  of  George  I. :  "  No  woman  came  amiss  to  him, 
if  she  were  only  very  willing  and  very  fat."  John  Heneage 
Jesse,  in  his  "  Memoirs  of  the  Court  of  England  "  —  speak- 


ing  of  the  Duchess  of  Kendal,  the  Countess  Platen  (the 
co-partner  in  the  murder  of  Konigsmark) ,  afterwards 
Countess  of  Darlington,  and  many  others  less  known  to 
infamy  —  says  that  George  I.  "  had  the  folly  and  wicked- 
ness to  encumber  himself  with  a  seraglio  of  hideous  German 
prostitutes."  The  Duchess  of  Kendal  was  for  many  years 
the  chief  mistress  of  George,  and  being  tall  and  lean  was 
caricatured  as  the  Maypole  or  the  Giraffe.  She  had  a  pen- 
sion of  £7,500  a  year,  the  profits  of  the  place  of  Master  of 
the  Horse,  and  other  plunder.  The  Countess  of  Darling- 
ton's figure  may  be  judged  from  the  name  of  Elephant  or 
Camel,  popularly  awarded  to  her.  Horace  Walpole  says 
of  her :  "  I  remember  as  a  boy  being  terrified  at  her  enor- 
mous figure.  The  fierce  black  eyes,  large  and  rolling, 
between  two  lofty-arched  eyebrows,  two  acres  of  cheeks 
spread  with  crimson,  an  ocean  of  neck  that  overflowed,  and 
was  not  distinguished  from  the  lower  part  of  her  body,  and 
no  part  restrained  by  stays.  No  wonder  that  a  child 
dreaded  such  an  ogress."  She  died  1724.  Mahon  says: 
"  She  was  unwieldy  in  person,  and  rapacious  in  character." 

Phillimore  declares  that  "George  I.  brought  with  him 
from  Hanover  mistresses  as  rapacious,  and  satellites  as 
ignoble,  as  those  which  drew  down  such  deserved  obloquy 
on  Charles  31.,  Bothman,  Bernstoff,  Robethon,  and  two 
Turks  —  Mustapha  and  Mahomet,  —  meddled  more  with 
public  affairs,  and  were  to  the  full  as  venal  as  Chiffin,  Pepys 
and  Smith."  Mahon,  who  calls  Robethon  "  a  prying, 
impertinent,  venomous  creature,"  adds  that  "  coming  from 
a  poor  electorate,  a  flight  of  hungry  Hanoverians,  like  so 
many  famished  vultures,  fell  with  keen  eyes  and  bended 
talons  on  the  fruitful  soil  of  England." 

One  of  the  earliest  acts  of  the  Whig  aristocracy,  in  the 
reign  of  George  I.,  was  to  pass  a  measure  through  Parlia- 
ment, lengthening  the  existence  of  that  very  Parliament  to 


seven  years,  and  giving  to  the  King  the  power  to  continue 
all  subsequent  Parliaments  to  a  like  period.  The  Triennial 
Parliaments  were  thus  lengthened  by  a  corrupt  majority. 
For  the  committal  of  the  Septennial  Bill  there  was  a 
majority  of  72  votes,  and  it  is  alleged  by  the  Westmin- 
ster Review ,  "that  about  82  members  of  the  honorable 
house  had  either  fingered  Walpole's  gold,  or  pocketed  the 
bank-notes  which,  by  the  purest  accident,  were  left  under 
their  plates.  ...  In  the  ten  years  which  preceded  the  Sep- 
tennial Act,  the  sum  expended  in  Secret  Service  money  was 
£337,960.  In  the  ten  years  which  followed  the  passing  of  the 
Septennial  Act,  the  sum  expended  for  Secret  Service  was 
£1,453,400."  The  same  writer  says :  "  The  friends  and 
framers  of  the  Triennial  Bill  were  for  the  most  part  Tories, 
and  its  opponents  for  the  most  part  Whigs.  The  framers 
and  friends  of  the  Bill  for  long  Parliaments  were  all  Whigs, 
and  its  enemies  all  Tories."  When  the  measure  came 
before  the  Lords,  we  find  Baron  Bernstoff,  on  the  King's 
behalf,  actually  canvassing  Peers'  wives,  with  promises  of 
places  for  their  relatives,  in  order  to  induce  them  to  get 
their  husbands  to  vote  for  the  Bill.  Another  of  the  early 
infringements  of  public  liberty  by  the  Whig  supporters  of 
George  I.,  was  the  passing  (1  George  I.,  c.  5)  the  Riot 
Act,  which  had  not  existed  from  the  accession  of  James 
I.  to  the  death  of  Queen  Anne.  Sir  John  Hinde  Cotton, 
a  few  years  afterwards,  described  this  Act,  which  is  still  the 
law  of  England,  as  "  An  Act  by  which  a  little  dirty  justice 
of  the  peace,  the  meanest  and  vilest  tool  a  minister  can 
use,  had  it  in  his  power  to  put  twenty  or  thirty  of  the  best 
subjects  of  England  to  immediate  death,  without  any  trial  or 
form,  but  that  of  reading  a  proclamation."  In  order  to  facil- 
tate  the  King's  desire  to  spend  most  of  his  time  in  Hanover, 
the  third  section  of  the  Act  of  Settlement  was  repealed. 
Thackeray  says :  "  Delightful  as  London  city  was,  King 


George  I.  liked  to  be  out  of  it  as  much  as  ever  he  could, 
and  when  there,  passed  all  his  time  with  his  Germans.  It 
was  with  them  as  with  Blucher  one  hundred  years  after- 
wards, when  the  bold  old  Reiter  looked  down  from  St. 
Paul's  and  sighed  out,  '  Was  fur  plunder ! '  The  German 
women  plundered,  the  German  secretaries  plundered,  the 
German  cooks  and  intendants  plundered ;  even  Mustapha  and 
Mahomet,  the  German  negroes,  had  a  share  of  the  booty. 
Take  what  you  can  get,  was  the  old  monarch's  maxim." 

There  was  considerable  discontent  expressed  in  the  early 
years  of  George's  reign.  Hallam  says :  "  Much  of  this 
disaffection  was  owing  to  the  cold  reserve  of  George  L, 
ignorant  of  the  language,  alien  to  the  prejudices  of  his 
people,  and  continually  absent  in  his  electoral  domin- 
ions, to  which  he  seemed  to  sacrifice  the  nation's  in- 
terest. .  .  .  The  letters  in  Coxe's  Memoirs  of  Walpole, 
abundantly  show  the  German  nationality,  the  impolicy  and 
neglect  of  his  duties,  the  rapacity  and  petty  selfishness  of 
George  I.  The  Whigs  were  much  dissatisfied,  but  the  fear 
of  losing  their  places  made  them  his  slaves."  In  order  to 
add  the  duchies  of  Bremen  and  Verden  to  Hanover,  in 
1716,  the  King,  as  Elector,  made  a  treaty  with  Denmark 
against  Sweden,  which  treaty  proved  the  source  of  those 
Continental  wars,  and  the  attendant  system  of  subsidies  to 
European  .powers,  which  have,  in  the  main,  created  our 
"enormous  National  Debt.  Bremen  and  Verden  being 
actually  purchased  for  George  I.  as  the  Elector  of  Hano- 
ver, with  English  money,  Great  Britain  in  addition  was 
pledged  by  George  I.  to  guarantee  Sleswick  to  Denmark. 
Sweden  and  Denmark  quarrelling  —  and  George  I.  as 
•Elector  of  Hanover  having,  without  the  consent  of  the 
English  Parliament,  declared  war  against  Sweden  —  an 
English  fleet  was  sent  into  the  Baltic  to  take  up  a  quarrel 
with  which  we  had  no  concern.  In  addition  we  were  in- 


volved  in  a  quarrel  \vith  Russia,  because  that  power  had 
interfered  to  prevent  Mecklenburg  being  added  to  George's 
Hanoverian  estates.  The  chief  mover  in  this  matter  was 
the  notorious  Baron  Bernstoff,  who  held  some  village  prop- 
erty in  Mecklenburg.  In  all  these  complications,  Hanover 
gained,  England  lost.  If  Hanover  found  troops,  England 
paid  for  them,  while  the  Electorate  solely  reaped  the  ben- 
efit. Every  thoughtful  writer  admits  that  English  interests 
were  always  betrayed  to  satisfy  Hanoverian  greed. 

The  King's  fondness  for  German3r  provoked  some  hos- 
tility, and  amongst  the  various  squibs  issued,  one  in  1716, 
from  the  pen  of  Samuel  "Wesley,  brother  of  John  Wesley, 
is  not  without  interest.  It  represents  a  conversation  be- 
tween George  and  the  Duchess  of  Kendal :  — 

"  As  soon  aa  the  wind  it  came  fairly  about, 
That  kept  the  King  in  and  his  enemies  out, 
He  determined  no  longer  confinement  to  bear, 
And  thus  to  the  Duchess  his  mind  did  declare : 

"  Quoth  he,  •  My  dear  Kenny,  I've  been  tired  a  long  while, 
With  living  obscure  in  this  poor  little  isle, 
And  now  Spain  and  Pretender  have  no  more  mines  to  spring, 
I'm  resolved  to  go  home  and  live  like  a  King." 

The  Duchess  approves  of  this,  describes  and  laughs  at 
all  the  persons  nominated  for  the  Council  of  Regency,  and 
concludes :  — 

"  On  the  whole,  Til  be  hanged  if  all  over  the  realm 
There  are  thirteen  such  fools  to  be  put  to  the  helm; 
So  for  this  time  be  easy,  nor  have  jealous  thought, 
They  ha'n't  sense  to  sell  you,  nor  are  worth  being  bought." 

«'  Tis  for  that  (quoth  the  King,  in  very  bad  French), 
I  chose  them  for  my  regents,  and  you  for  my  wench, 
And  neither,  I'm  sure,  will  my  trust  e'er  betray, 
For  the  devil  won't  take  you  if  I  turn  yon  away." 


It  was  this  same  Duchess  of  Kendal  who,  as  the  King's 
mistress,  was  publicly  accused  of  having  received  enormous 
sums  of  money  from  the  South  Sea  Company  for  herself 
and  the  King,  in  order  to  shield  from  justice  the  principal 
persons  connected  with  those  terrible  South  Sea  frauds, 
by  which,  in  the  year  1720,  so  many  families  were  reduced 
to  misery. 

In  1717,  Mr.  Shippen,  a  member  of  the  House  of  Com- 
mons, was  committed  to  the  Tower,  for  saying  in  his  place 
in  the  House,  that  it  was  the  "  infelicity  of  his  Majesty's 
reign  that  he  is  unacquainted  with  our  language  and  con- 
stitution." Lord  Macaulay  tells  us  how  Lord  Carteret, 
afterwards  Earl  Granville,  rose  into  favor.  The  King 
could  speak  no  English ;  Carteret  was  the  only  one  of  the 
Ministry  who  could  speak  German.  "  All  the  communi- 
cation that  "Walpole  had  with  his  master  was  in  very  bad 
Latin."  The  influence  Carteret  wielded  over  the  King  did 
not  extend  to  every  member  of  the  Royal  Family.  The 
Princess  of  Wales  afterwards  described  the  Lords  Carteret 
and  Bolingbroke  as  two  she  had  "  long  known  to  be  two  as 
worthless  men  of  parts  as  any  in  the  country,  and  who  I 
have  not  only  been  often  told  are  two  of  the  greatest  liars 
and  knaves  in  any  country,  but  whom  my  own  observation 
and  experience  have  found  so." 

Under  George  I.  our  standing  army  was  nearly  doubled 
by  the  Whig  Ministry,  and  this  when  peace  would  rather 
have  justified  a  reduction  than  an  increase.  The  payments 
to  Hanoverian  troops  commenced  under  this  king,  a  pay- 
ment which  William  Pitt  afterwards  earned  the  enmity  of 
George  II.  by  very  sharply  denouncing,  and  which  pay- 
ment was  but  a  step  in  the  system  of  continental  subsidies 
which  have  helped  to  swell  our  national  debt  to  its  present 
enormous  dimensions. 

In  this  reign  the  enclosure  of  waste  lands  was  practically 


commenced,  sixteen  enclosure  Acts  being  passed,  and  17,- 
660  acres  of  land  enclosed.  This  example,  once  furnished, 
was  followed  in  the  next  reign  with  increasing  rapidity, 
226  enclosure  Acts  being  passed  in  the  reign  of  George  II., 
and  318,778  acres  of  land  enclosed.  As  Mr.  Fawcett  states, 
up  to  1845,  more  than  7,000,000  acres  of  land,  over  which 
the  public  possessed  invaluable  rights,  have  been  gradually 
absorbed,  and  individuals  wielding  legislative  influence 
have  been  enriched  at  the  expense  of  the  public  and  the 

Within  six  years  from  his  accession,  the  King  was  about 
£600,000  in  debt,  and  this  sum  was  the  first  of  a  long  list 
of  debts  discharged  by  the  nation  for  these  Brunswicks. 
When  our  ministers  to-day  talk  of  obligations  on  the  part 
of  the  people  to  endow  each  additional  member  of  the 
Royal  Family,  the  memory  of  these  shameful  extrava- 
gances should  have  some  effect.  George  I.  had  a  civil  list 
of  £700,000  a  year ;  he  received  £300,000  from  the  Royal 
Exchange  Assurance  Company,  and  £300,000  from  the 
London  Assurance  Companies,  and  had  one  million  voted 
to  him  in  1726  towards  payment  of  his  debts. 

When  the  "South  Sea  Bill  "was  promoted  in  1720, 
wholesale  bribery  was  resorted  to.  Transfers  of  stock  were 
proved  to  have  been  made  to  persons  high  in  office.  Two 
members  of  the  Whig  Ministry,  Lord  Sunderland  and  Mr. 
Aislabie,  were  so  implicated  that  they  had  to  resign  their 
offices,  and  the  last-named,  who  was  Chancellor  of  the  Ex- 
chequer, was  ignominiously  expelled  the  House  of  Com- 
mons. Royalty  itself,  or  at  least,  the  King's  sultanas,  and 
several  of  his  German  household,  shared  the  spoil.  £30,000 
were  traced  to  the  King's  mistresses,  and  a  select  commit- 
tee of  the  House  denounced  the  whole  business  as  "  a  train 
of  the  deepest  villany  and  fraud  with  which  hell  ever  con- 
trived to  ruin  a  nation."  Near  the  close  of  the  reign,  Lord 


Macclesfied,  Lord  Chancellor  and  favorite  and  tool  of  the 
King,  was  impeached  for  extortion  and  abuse  of  trust  in  his 
office,  and,  being  convicted,  was  sentenced  to  pay  a  fine  of 
£30,000.  In  1716,  Mademoiselle  Schulenberg,  then  Duchess 
of  Munster,  received  £5,000  as  a  bribe  for  procuring  the 
title  of  Viscount  for  Sir  Henry  St.  John.  In  1724,  the 
same  mistress,  bribed  by  Lord  Bolingbroke,  successfully 
used  her  influence  to  pass  an  act  through  Parliament  restor- 
ing him  his  forfeited  estates.  Mr.  Chetwynd,  says,  my 
Lady  Cowper,  in  order  to  secure  his  position  in  the  Board 
of  Trade,  paid  to  another  of  George's  mistresses  £500 
down,  agreed  to  allow  her  £200  a  year  as  long  as  he  held 
the  place,  and  gave  her  also  the  fine,  brilliant  ear-rings  she 

In  1724  there  appeared  in  Dublin,  the  first  of  the  famous 
"Drapier  Letters,"  written  by  Jonathan  Swift  against 
Wood's  coinage  patent.  A  patent  had  been  granted  to  a 
man  named  Wood  for  coining  half-pence  in  Ireland.  This 
grant  was  made  under  the  influence  of  the  Duchess  of 
Kendal,  the  mistress  of  the  King,  and  on  the  stipulation 
that  she  should  receive  a  large  share  of  the  profits.  These 
"  Drapier  Letters  "  were  prosecuted  by  the  Government^ 
but  Swift  followed  them  with  others  jtlie~grand  juries  re- 
fused to  find  true  bills,  and  ultimately  the  patent  was  can- 
celled. Wood,  or  the  Duchess,  got  as  compensation  a 
grant  of  a  pension  of  £3,000  a  year  for  eight  years. 

George  died  at  Osnabruck,  on  his  journey  Hanover-wards, 
in  June,  1727,  having  made  a  will  by  which  he  disposed  of 
his  money  in  some  fashion  displeasing  to  his  son  George 
II. ;  and  as  the  Edinburgh  Review  tells  us,  the  latter 
"evaded  the  old  king's  directions,  and  got  his  money  by 
burning  his  will."  In  this,  George  II.  only  followed  his 
royal  father's  example.  When  Sophia  Dorothea  died,  she 
left  a  will  bequeathing  her  property  in  a  fashion  displeasing 


to  George  I.,  who,  without  scruple,  destroyed  the  testament 
and  appropriated  the  estate.  George  I.  had  also  previously 
burned  the  will  of  his  father-in-law,  the  Duke  of  Zell.  At 
this  time  the  destruction  of  a  will  was  a  capital  felony  in 

In  concluding  this  rough  sketch  of  the  reign  of  George 
I.,  it  must  not  be  forgotten  that  his  accession  meant  the 
triumph  of  the  Protestant  caste  in  Ireland,  and  that  under 
his  rule  much  was  tlone  to  render  permanent  the  utter 
hatred  manifested  by  the  Irish  people  to  their  English  con- 
querors, who  had  always  preferred  the  policy  of  extermi- 
nation to  that  of  conciliation.  Things  were  so  sad  in  Ire- 
land at  the  end  of  this  reign,  that  Dean  Swift,  in  bitter 
mockery,  "  wrote  and  published  his  '  Modest  Proposal '  for 
relieving  the  miseries  of  the  people,  by  cooking  and  eating 
the  children  of  the  poor ; "  "  a  piece  of  the  fiercest  sarcasm," 
says  Mitchell,  "  steeped  in  all  the  concentrated  bitterness 
of  his  soul."  Poor  Ireland,  she  had,  at  any  rate,  nothing 
to  endear  to  her  the  memory  of  George  I. 


THE    REIGN    OF    GEORGE    II. 

WHEN  George  I.  died  there  was  so  little  interest  or  affec- 
tion exhibited  by  his  son  and  successor,  that  Sir  Robert 
Walpole,  on  announcing  to  George  II.  that  by  the  demise 
of  his  father  he  had  succeeded  to  regal  honors,  was  saluted 
with  a  volley  of  oaths,  and  "  Dat  is  one  big  lie."  No  pre- 
tence even  was  made  of  sorrow.  George  Augustus  had 
hated  George  Lewis  during  life,  and  at  the  first  council, 
when  the  will  of  the  late  King  was  produced  by  the  Arch- 
bishop of  Canterbury,  the  new  monarch  simply  took  it  up 


and  walked  out  of  the  room  with  the  document,  which  waa 
never  seen  again.  Thackeray,  who  pictures  George  II.  as 
"  a  dull,  little  man,  of  low  tastes,"  says  that  he  u  made  away 
with  his  father's  will  under  the  astonished  nose  of  the 
Archbishop  of  Canterbury."  A  duplicate  of  this  will  hav- 
ing been  deposited  with  the  Duke  of  Brunswick,  a  large 
sum  of  money  was  paid  to  that  Prince  nominally  as  a  sub- 
sidy by  the  English  Government  for  the  maintenance  of 
troops,  but  really  as  a  bribe  for  surrendering  the  document. 
A  legacy  having  been  left  by  this  will  to  Lady  Walsing- 
ham,  threats  were  held  out  in  1733  by  her  then  husband, 
Lord  Chesterfield,  and  £20,000  was  paid  in  compromise. 

The  eldest  son  of  George  II.  was  Frederick,  born  in  1706, 
and  who  up  to  1728  resided  permanently  in  Hanover.  Lord 
Hervey  tells  us  that  the  King  hated  his  son  Frederick,  and 
that  the  Queen  Caroline,  his  mother,  abhorred  him.  To 
Lord  Hervey  the  Queen  says :  "  My  dear  Lord,  I  will  give 
it  you  under  my  hand,  if  you  are  in  any  fear  of  my  relaps- 
ing, that  my  dear  first-born  is  the  greatest  ass,  and  the 
greatest  liar,  and  the  greatest  canaille,  and  the  greatest  beast 
in  the  whole  world ;  and  that  I  most  heartily  wish  he  were 
out  of  it."  This  is  a  tolerably  strong  description  of  the 
father  of  George  III.  from  the  lips  of  his  own  mother. 
Along  with  this  description  of  Frederick  by  the  Queen,  take 
Thackeray's  character  of  George  II.'s  worthy  father  of  wor- 
thy son  :  "  Here  was  one  who  had  neither  dignity,  learning, 
morals,  nor  wit  —  who  tainted  a  great  society  by  a  bad 
example  ;  who  in  youth,  manhood,  old  age,  was  gross,  low, 
and  sensual." 

In  1705,  when  only  Electoral  Prince  of  Hanover,  George 
had  married  Caroline,  daughter  of  the  Margrave  of  Anspach, 
a  woman  of  more  than  average  ability.  Thackeray  de- 
scribes Caroline  in  high  terms  of  praise,  but  Lord  Chester- 
field says  that  "  she  valued  herself  upon  her  skill  in 


simulation  and  dissimulation.  .  .  .  Cunning  and  perfidy  were 
the  means  she  made  use  of  in  business."  The  Prince  of  Ans- 
pach  is  alleged  by  the  Whisperer  to  have  raised  some  difficul- 
ties as  to  the  marriage,  on  account  of  George  I.  being  disposed 
to  deny  the  legitimacy  of  his  son,  and  it  is  further  pretended 
that  George  I.  had  actually  to  make  distinct  acknowledg- 
ment of  his  son  to  King  William  III.  before  the  arrange- 
ments for  the  Act  of  Settlement  were  consented  to  by  that 
King.  It  is  quite  clear  from  the-  diary  of  Lady  Cowper, 
that  the  old  King's  feeling  towards  George  II.  was  always 
one  of  the  most  bitter  hatred. 

The  influence  exercised  by  Queen  Caroline  over  George 
II.  was  purely  political;  and  Lord  Hervey  declares  that 
"  wherever  the  interest  of  Germany  and  the  honor  of  the 
Empire  were  concerned,  her  thoughts  and  reasonings  were 
as  German  and  Imperial  as  if  England  had  been  out  of  the 

A  strange  story  is  told  of  Sir  Robert  Walpole  and  Caro- 
line. Sir  Robert,  when  intriguing  for  office  under  George  I., 
with  Townshend,  Devonshire,  and  others,  objected  to  their 
plans  being  communicated  to  the  Prince  of  Wales,  saying, 

"  The  fat  b h,  his  wife,  would  betray  the  secret  and 

spoil  the  project."  This  courtly  speech  being  made  known 
by  some  kind  friend  to  the  Princess  Caroline,  considerable 
hostility  was  naturally  exhibited.  Sir  Robert  Walpole, 
who  held  the  doctrine  that  every  person  was  purchasable, 
the  only  question  being  one  of  price,  managed  to  purchase 
peace  with  Caroline  when  Queen.  When  the  ministry  sus- 
pended, "  Walpole  not  fairly  out,  Compton  not  fairly  in," 
Sir  Robert  assured  the  Queen  that  he  would  secure  her  an 
annuity  of  £100,000  in  the  event  of  the  King's  death,  Sir 
Spencer  Compton,  who  was  then  looked  to  as  likely  to  be 
in  power,  having  only  offered  £60,000.  The  Queen  sent 
back  word,  "  Tell  Sir  Robert  the  fat  b h  has  forgiven 


him,"  and  thenceforth  they  were  political  allies  until  the 
Queen's  death  in  1737. 

The  domestic  relations  of  George  II.  were  marvellous. 
"We  pass  with  little  notice  Lady  Suffolk,  lady-in-waiting  to 
Queen  and  mistress  to  the  King,  who  was  sold  by  her  hus- 
band for  a  pension  of  £12,000  a  year,  paid  by  the  British 
tax-payers,  and  who  was  coarsely  insulted  by  both  their 
Majesties.  It  is  needless  to  dwell  on  the  confidential  com- 
munications, in  which  "  that  strutting  little  sultan  George 
II.,"  as  Thackeray  calls  him,  solicited  favors  from  his  wife 
for  his  mistress,  the  Countess  of  Walmoden  ;  but  to  use  the 
words  of  the  cultured  Edinburgh  Review,  the  Queen's 
"  actual  intercession  to  secure  for  the  King  the  favors  of 
the  Duchess  of  Modena  precludes  the  idea  that  these  senti- 
ments were  as  revolting  to  the  royal  Philaminte  as  they 
would  nowadays  be  to  a  scavenger's  daughter.  Nor  was 
the  Queen  the  only  lady  of  the  Royal  Family  who  talked 
openly  on  these  matters.  "When  Lady  Suffolk  was  waning 
at  court,  the  Princess  Royal  could  find  nothing  better  to 
say  than  this  :  '  I  wish  with  all  my  heart  that  he  (i.  e.,  the 
King)  would  take  somebody  else,  that  Mamma  might  be 
relieved  from  the  ennui  of  seeing  him  forever  in  her 
room.'  " 

Lady  Cowper  in  her  diary  tells  us  that  George  II.,  when 
Prince  of  Wales,  intrigued  with  Lady  "Walpole,  not  only 
with  the  knowledge  of  the  Princess  Caroline,  but  also  with 
connivance  of  the  Prime  Minister  himself.  Lord  Hervey 
adds  that  Caroline  used  to  sneer  at  Sir  Robert  Walpole, 
asking  how  the  poor  man  —  "  avec  ce  gros  corps,  cesjambes 
enflees  et  ce  villain  venire"  —  could  possibly  believe 
that  any  woman  could  love  him  for  himself.  And  that  Sir 
Robert  retaliated,  when  Caroline  afterwards  complained  to 
him  of  the  King's  cross  temper,  by  telling  her  very  coolly 
that  "  it  was  impossible  it  could  be  otherwise,  since  the 


King  had  tasted  better  things,"  and  ended  by  advising  her 
to  bring  pretty  Lady  Tankerville  en  rapport  with  the  King. 

In  1727  an  Act  was  passed,  directed  against  workmen  in 
the  woollen  trade,  rendering  combination  for  the  purpose  of 
raising  wages  unlawful.  Some  years  afterwards,  this  Act 
was  extended  to  other  trades,  and  the  whole  tendency  of 
the  Septennial  Parliament  legislation  manifests  a  most  un- 
fortunate desire  on  the  part  of  the  Legislature  to  coerce 
and  keep  in  subjection  the  artisan  classes. 

In  February,  1728,  the  celebrated  "  Beggar's  Opera,"  by 
Ga}',  was  put  on  the  stage  at  the  Lincoln's  Inn  Fields 
Theatre,  and,  being  supposed  to  contain  some  satirical 
reflections  on  court-corruption,  provoked  much  displeasure 
on  the  part  of  Royalty.  The  Duchess  of  Queensborough, 
who  patronized  Gay,  being  forbidden  to  attend  court, 
wrote  thus  :  "  The  Duchess  of  Queensborough  is  surprised 
and  well  pleased  that  the  King  has  given  her  so  agreeable 
a  command  as  forbidding  her  the  court.  .  .  .  She  hopes 
that,  by  so  unprecedented  an  order  as  this,  the  King  will 
see  as  few  as  she  wishes  at  his  court,  particularly  such  as 
dare  speak  or  think  truth." 

In  1729,  £115,000  was  voted  by  Parliament  for  the  pay- 
ment of  the  King's  debts.  This  vote  seems  to  have  been 
obtained  under  false  pretences,  to  benefit  the  King,  whose 
"  cardinal  passion,"  says  Phillimore,  "  was  avarice." 

The  Craftsman,  during  the  first  decade  of  the  reign, 
fiercely  assailed  the  Whig  ministry  for  "  a  wasteful  expend- 
iture of  money  in  foreign  subsidies  and  bribes ; "  and  in 
his  place  in  the  House  of  Commons  William  Pitt,  "  the 
great  Commoner,"  in  the  strongest  language  attacked  the 
system  of  foreign  bribery  by  which  home  corruption  was 

The  rapidly  increasing  expenditure  needed  every  day  in- 
creased taxation,  and  a  caricature  published  in  1732  marks 


the  public  feeling.  A  monster  (Excise),  in  the  form  of  a 
many-headed  dragon,  is  drawing  the  minister  (Sir  Robert 
Walpole)  in  his  coach,  and  pouring  into  his  lap,  in  the 
shape  of  gold,  what  it  has  eaten  up  in  the  forms  of  mutton, 
hams,  cups,  glasses,  mugs,  pipes,  etc. 

"  See  this  dragon  Excise 

Has  ten  thousand  eyes, 
And  five  thousand  mouths  to  devour  us ; 

A  sting  and  sharp  claws, 

With  wide  gaping  jaws, 
And  a  belly  as  big  as  a  store-house." 

Beginning  with  wines  and  liquors,  — 

"  Grant  these,  and  the  glutton 

Will  roar  out  for  mutton, 
Your  beef,  bread,  and  bacon  to  boot ; 

Your  goose,  pig,  and  pullet, 

He'll  thrust  down  his  gullet, 
Whilst  the  laborer  munches  a  root." 

In  1730  Mr.  Sandys  introduced  a  Bill  to  disable  pen- 
sioners from  sitting  in  Parliament.  George  II.  vigorously 
opposed  this  measure,  which,  was  defeated.  In  the  King's 
private  notes  to  Lord  Townshend,  Mr.  Sandys'  proposed 
act  is  termed  a  "villanous  measure,"  which  should  be 
"  torn  to  pieces  in  every  particular." 

It  was  in  1732  that  the  Earl  of  Aylesford,  a  Tory  peer, 
declared  that  standing  armies  in  time  of  peace  were 
"  against  the  very  words  of  the  Petition  of  Rights"  and 
that  "  all  the  confusions  and  disorders  which  have  been 
brought  upon  this  kingdom  for  many  years,  have  been  all 
brought  upon  it  by  means  of  standing  armies."  In  1733 
Earl  Strafford  affirmed  that  "  a  standing  army "  was 
"  always  inconsistent  with  the  liberties  of  the  people  ; "  and 
urged  that  "  where  the  people  have  any  regard  for  their 


liberties,  they  ought  never  to  keep  up  a  greater  number  of 
regular  forces  than  are  absolutely  necessary  for  the  security 
of  the  Government."  Sir  John  Barnard  declared  that  the 
army  ought  not  to  be  used  on  political  questions.  He 
said  :  "  In  a  free  country,  if  a  tumult  happens  from  a  just 
cause  of  complaint,  the  people  ought  to  be  satisfied ;  their 
grievances  ought  to  be  redressed ;  they  ought  not  surely  to 
be  immediately  knocked  on  the  head  because  they  may 
happen  to  complain  in  an  irregular  way."  Mr.  Pulteney 
urged  that  a  standing  army  is  "  a  body  of  men  distinct 
from  the  body  of  the  people  ;  they  are  governed  by  different 
laws;  blind  obedience  and  an  entire  submission  to  the 
orders  of  their  commanding  officer  is  their  only  principle. 
The  nations  around  us  are  already  enslaved  by  those  very 
means ;  by  means  of  their  standing  armies  they  have  every 
one  lost  their  liberties  ;  it  is  indeed  impossible  that  the  lib- 
erties of  the  people  can  be  preserved  in  a  country  where  a 
numerous  standing  army  is  kept  up." 

In  1735  sixteen  Scottish  peers  were  elected  to  sit  in  the 
House  of  Lords,  and  in  a  petition  to  Parliament  it  was 
alleged,  that  the  whole  of  this  list  of  sixteen  peers  was 
elected  by  bribery  and  corruption.  The  petition  positively 
asserted  "  that  the  list  of  sixteen  peers  for  Scotland  had 
been  formed  by  persons  high  in  trust  under  the  crown,  pre- 
vious to  the  election  itself.  The  peers  were  solicited  to 
vote  for  this  list  without  the  liberty  of  making  any  altera- 
tion, and  endeavors  were  used  to  engage  peers  to  vote 
for  this  list  by  promise  of  pensions  and  offices,  civil  and 
militar}7,  to  themselves  and  their  relations,  and  by  actual 
promise  and  offers  of  sums  of  money.  Several  had  received 
money,  and  releases  of  debts  owing  to  the  crown  were 
granted  to  those  who  voted  for  this  list.  To  render  this 
transaction  more  infamous,  a  battalion  of  troops  occupied 
the  Abbey  Court  of  Edinburgh,  and  continued  there  dur- 


ing  the  whole  time  of  the  election,  while  there  was  a  con- 
siderable body  lying  within  a  mile  of  the  city  ready  to 
advance  on  the  signal."  This  petition,  notwithstanding 
the  gravity  of  its  allegations,  was  quietly  suppressed. 

Lady  Sundon,  "Woman  of  the  Bedchamber  and  Mistress 
of  the  Robes  to  Queen  Caroline,  received  from  Lord  Pom- 
fret  jewelry  of  £1,400  value,  for  obtaining  him  the  appoint- 
ment of  Master  of  the  Horse. 

With  a  Civil  List  of  £800,000  a  year,  George  II.  was 
continually  in  debt,  but  an  obedient  Ministry  and  a  cor- 
rupt Parliament  never  hesitated  to  discharge  his  Majesty's 
obligations  out  of  the  pockets  of  the  unrepresented  people. 
Lord  Carteret,  in  1733,  speaking  of  a  Bill  before  the  House 
for  granting  the  King  half  a  million  out  of  the  Sinking 
Fund,  said:  "This  Fund,  my  Lords,  has  been  clandestinely 
defrauded  of  several  small  sums  at  different  times,  which 
indeed  together  amount  to  a  pretty  large  sum ;  but  by  this 
Bill  it  is  to  be  openly  and  avowedly  plundered  of  £500,000 
at  once." 

On  the  27th  of  April,  1736,  Prince  Frederick  was  married 
to  the  Princess  Augusta,  of  Saxe  Gotha,  whom  King 
George  II.  afterwards  described  as  "  cette  diablesse  Madame 
la  Princesse"  In  August  of  the  same  year,  a  sharp  open 
quarrel  took  place  between  the  Prince  of  Wales  and  his 
parents,  which,  after  some  resumptions  of  pretended  friend- 
liness, ended,  on  September  10,  1737,  in  the  former  being 
ordered  by  the  King  to  quit  St.  James's  palace,  where  he 
was  residing.  On  the  22d  of  the  preceding  February, 
Pulteney  had  moved  for  an  allowance  of  £100,000  a  year 
to  Prince  Frederick.  George  II.  refused  to  consent,  on  the 
ground  that  the  responsibility  to  provide  for  the  Prince  of 
Wales  rested  with  himself,  and  that  "  it  would  be  highly 
indecorous  to  interfere  between  father  and  son."  On  the 
Prince  of  Wales  taking  up  his  residence  at  Norfolk  House, 


"  the  King  issued  an  order  that  no  persons  who  paid  their 
court  to  the  Prince  and  Princess  should  be  admitted  to  his 
presence."  An  official  intimation  of  this  was  given  to 
foreign  ambassadors. 

On  the  20th  of  November,  1737,  Queen  Caroline  died, 
never  having  spoken  to  her  son  since  the  quarrel.  "  She 
was,"  says  "Walpole,  "  implacable  in  hatred  even  to  her 
djnng  moments.  She  absolutely  refused  to  pardon,  or  even 
to  see,  her  son."  The  death-bed  scene  is  thus  spoken  of  by 
Thackeray :  "  There  never  was  such  a  ghastly  farce  ; "  and 
as  sketched  by  Lord  Hervey,  it  is  a  monstrous  mixture  of 
religion,  disgusting  comedy,  and  brutishness.  "  "We  are 
shocked  in  the  very  chamber  of  death  by  the  intrusion  of 
egotism,  vanity,  buffoonery,  and  inhumanity.  The  King  is 
at  one  moment  dissolved  in  a  mawkish  tenderness,  at 
another  sunk  into  brutal  apathy.  He  is  at  one  moment  all 
tears  for  the  loss  of  one  who  united  the  softness  and 
amiability  of  one  sex  to  the  courage  and  firmness  of  the 
other ;  at  another  all  fury  because  the  object  of  his  regrets 
cannot  swallow,  or  cannot  change  her  posture,  or  cannot 
animate  the  glassy  fixedness  of  her  eyes ;  at  one  moment 
.he  begins  an  elaborate  panegjTic  on  her  virtues,  then  breaks 
off  into  an  enumeration  of  his  own,  by  which  he  implies 
that  her  heart  has  been  enthralled,  and  her  intelligence 
awed.  He  then  breaks  off  into  a  stupid  story  about  a 
storm,  for  which  his  daughter  laughs  at  him,  and  then  while 
he  is  weeping  over  his  consort's  death-bed,  she  advises  him 
to  marry  again ;  and  we  are  —  what  the  Queen  was  not — 
startled  by  the  strange  reply,  '  Non,  faurai  des  mattresses,' 
with  the  faintly  moaned  out  rejoinder,  '  Cela,  n'empeche 
pas.'"  So  does  the  Edinburgh  reviewer,  following  Lord 
Hervey,  paint  the  dying  scene  of  the  Queen  of  our  second 

After  the  death  of  the  Queen,  the  influence  of  the  King's 


mistresses  became  supreme,  and  Sir  R.  Walpole,  who,  in 
losing  Queen  Caroline  had  lost  Ms  greatest  hold  over 
George,  paid  court  to  Lady  Walmoden,  in  order  to  main- 
tain his  weakened  influence.  In  the  private  letters 
of  the  Pelham  family,  who  succeeded  to  power  soon 
after  Walpole's  fall,  we  find  frequent  mention  of  the 
Countess  of  Yarmouth  as  a  power  to  be  gained,  a  per- 
son to  stand  well  with.  "  I  read,"  says  Thackeray,  "  that 
Lady  Yarmouth  (my  most  religious  and  gracious  King's 
favorite)  sold  a  bishopric  to  a  clergyman  for  £5,000.  (He 
betted  her  £5,000  that  he  would  not  be  made  a  bishop,  and 
he  lost,  and  paid  her.)  "Was  he  the  only  prelate  of  his 
time  led  up  by  such  hands  for  consecration?  As  I  peep 
into  George  II.'s  St.  James's,  I  see  crowds  of  cassocks  rust- 
ling up  the  back-stairs  of  the  ladies  of  the  Court ;  stealthy 
clergy  slipping  purses  into  their  laps ;  that  godless  old 
King  yawning  under  his  canopy  in  his  Chapel  Royal,  as 
the  chaplain  before  him  is  discoursing." 

On  the  23d  of  May,  1738,  George  William  Frederick, 
son  of  Frederick,  and  afterwards  George  HE.,  was  born. 

In  1739  Lady  Walmoden,  who  had  up  to  this  year 
remained  in  •Hanover,  was  brought  to  England,  and  for- 
mally installed  at  the  English  Court.  In  this  year  we  bound 
ourselves  by  treaty  to  pay  250,000  dollars  per  annum  for 
three  years  to  the  Danish  Government.  "The  secret 
motive  of  this  treaty,"  says  Mahon,  "as  of  too  many 
others,  was  not  English,  but  Hanoverian ;  and  regarded  the 
possession  of  a  petty  castle  and  lordship  called  Steinhorst. 
This  castle  had  been  bought  from  Holstein  by  George  II. 
as  Elector  of  Hanover,  but  the  Danes  claiming  the  sover- 
eignty, a  skirmish  ensued.  .  .  .  The  well-timed  treaty  of 
subsidy  calmed  their  resentment,  and  obtained  the  cession 
of  their  claim."  Many  urged,  as  in  truth  it  was,  that 
Steinhorst  was  bought  with  British  money,  and  Boling- 


broke  expressed  his  fear  "  that  we  shall  throw  the  small 
remainder  of  our  wealth  where  we  have  thrown  so  much 
already,  into  the  German  Gulf,  which  cries  Give !  Give ! 
and  is  never  satisfied." 

On  the  19th  of  May,  1739,  in  accordance  with  the  wish 
of  the  King,  war  was  declared  with  Spain,  nominally  on 
the  question  of  the  right  of  search,  but  when  peace  was 
declared  at  Aix-la-Chapelle,  this  subject  was  never  men- 
tioned. According  to  Dr.  Colquhoun,  this  war  cost  the 
country,  £46,418,680. 

George  II.  was,  despite  the  provisions  of  the  Act  of 
Settlement,  continually  in  Hanover.  From  1729  to  1731, 
again  in  1735  and  1736,  and  eight  times  between  1740  and 
1755.  In  1745  he  wished  to  go,  but  was  not  allowed. 

On  the  2d  of  October,  1741  (the  Pelham  family  having 
managed  to  acquire  power  bjr  dint,  as  Lord  Macaulay  puts 
it,  of  more  than  suspected  treason  to  their  leader  and  col- 
league), the  Duke  of  Newcastle,  then  Prune  Minister,  wrote 
his  brother,  Henry  Pelham,  as  follows  :  "  I  must  freely  own 
to  you,  that  I  think  the  King's  unjustifiable  partiality  for 
Hanover,  to  which  he  makes  all  other  views  and  consider- 
ations subservient,  has  manifested  itself  so  much  that  no 
man  can  continue  in  the  active  part  of  the  administration 
with  honor."  The  Duke  goes  on  to  describe  the  King's 
policy  as  "  both  dishonorable  and  fatal ; "  and  Henry  Pel- 
ham,  on  the  8th  of  October,  writes  him  baek  that  "  a  par- 
tiality to  Hanover  is  general,  is  what  all  men  of  business 
have  found  great  obstructions  from,  ever  since  this  family 
have  been  upon  the  throne."  Yet  these  are  amongst  the 
most  prominent  of  the  public  defenders  of  the  House  of 
Brunswick,  and  a  family  which  reaped  great  place  and 
profit  from  the  connection. 

Of  the  Duke  of  Newcastle,  Lord  Macaulay  says :  "  No 
man  was  so  unmercifully  satirized.  But  'in  truth  he  was 


Mmself  a  satire  ready  made.  All  that  the  art  of  the  satir- 
ist does  for  other  men,  nature  had  done  for  him.  What- 
ever was  absurd  about  him  stood  out  with  grotesque  prom- 
inence from  the  rest  of  the  character.  He  was  a  living, 
moving,  talking  caricature.  His  gait  was  a  shuffling  trot, 
his  utterance  a  rapid  stutter ;  he  was  always  in  a  hurry ;  he 
was  never  in  time ;  he  abounded  in  fulsome  caresses  and 
in  hysterical  tears.  His  oratory  resembled  that  of  Justice 
Shallow.  It  was  nonsense,  effervescent  with  animal  spirits 
and  impertinence.  Of  his  ignorance  many  anecdotes  re- 
main, some  well  authenticated,  some  probably  invented  at 
coffee-houses,  but  all  exquisitely  characteristic.  '  Oh,  yes, 
yes,  to  be  sure !  Annapolis  must  be  defended ;  troops  must 
be  sent  to  Annapolis.  Pray,  where  is  Annapolis  ? '  '  Cape 
Breton  an  island !  "Wonderful !  show  it  me  in  the  map. 
So  it  is.,  sure  enough.  My  dear  sir,  you  always  bring  us 
good  news.  I  must  go  and  tell  the  King  that  Cape  Breton 
is  an  island.'  And  this  man  was,  during  near  thirty  years, 
Secretary  of  State,  and  during  near  ten  years  First  Lord 
of  the  Treasury !  His  large  fortune,  his  strong  hereditary 
connection,  his  great  Parliamentary  interest,  will  not  alone 
explain  this  extraordinary  fact.  His  success  is  a  signal 
instance  of  what  may  be  effected  by  a  man  who  devotes  his 
whole  heart  and  soul  without  reserve  to  one  object.  He 
was  eaten  up  by  ambition.  His  love  of  influence  and  au- 
thority resembled  the  avarice  of  the  old  usurer  in  the  '  For- 
tunes of  Nigel.'  It  was  so  intense  a  passion  that  it  sup- 
plied the  place  of  talents,  that  it  inspired  even  fatuity  with 
cunning.  '  Have  no  money  dealings  with  my  father,'  says 
Martha  to  Lord  Grlenvarloch,  '  for,  dotard  as  he  is,  he  will 
make  an  ass  of  you.'  It  was  as  dangerous  to  have  any 
political  connection  with  Newcastle  as  to  buy  and  sell  with 
old  Trapbois.  He  was  greedy  after  power  with  a  greedi- 
ness all  his  own.  He  was  jealous  of  all  colleagues,  and 


even  of  his  own  brother.  Under  the  disguise  of  levity,  he 
was  false  beyond  all  example  of  political  falsehood.  All 
the  able  men  of  his  time  ridiculed  him  as  a  dunce,  a  driveller, 
a  child  who  never  knew  his  own  mind  for  an  hour  together ; 
and  he  overreached  them  all  round." 

In  1742,  under  the  opposition  of  Pulteney,  the  Tories 
called  upon  Paxton,  the  Solicitor  to  the  Treasury,  and 
Scrope,  the  Secretary  to  the  Treasury,  to  account  for  the 
specific  sum  of  £1,147,211,  which  it  was  proved  they  had  re- 
ceived from  the  minister.  No  account  was  ever  furnished. 
George  Vaughan,  a  confidant  of  Sir  Robert  Walpole,  was 
examined  before  the  Commons  as  to  a  practice  charged 
upon  that  minister,  of  obliging  the  possessor  of  a  place  or 
office  to  pay  a  certain  sum  out  of  the  profits  of  it  to  some 
person  or  persons  recommended  by  the  minister.  Vaughan, 
who  does  not  appear  to  have  ventured  any  direct  denial, 
managed  to  avoid  giving  a  categorical  reply,  and  to  get 
excused  from  answering  on  the  ground  that  he  might  crim- 
inate himself.  Agitation  was  commenced  for  the  revival 
of  Triennial  Parliaments,  for  the  renewal  of  the  clause  of 
the  Act  of  Settlement,  by  which  pensioners  and  placemen 
were  excluded  from  the  House  of  Commons,  and  for  the 
abolition  of  standing  armies  in  time  of  peace.  The  Whigs, 
however,  successfully  crushed  out  the  whole  of  this  agita- 
tion. Strong  language  was  heard  in  the  House  of  Com- 
mons, where  Sir  James  Dashwood  said  that  "  it  was  no 
wonder  that  the  people  were  then  unwilling  to  support  the 
Government,  when  a  weak,  narrow-minded  prince  occupied 
the  throne." 

A  very  amusing  squib  appeared  in  1742,  when  Sir  Robert 
Walpole's  power  was  giving  way,  partly  under  the  bold  at- 
tacks of  the  Tories,  led  by  Cotton  and  Shippen ;  partly 
before  the  malcontent  Whigs  under  the  guidance  of  Car- 
teret  and  Pulteney ;  partly  before  the  rising  power  of  the 


young  England  party  led  by  William  Pitt ;  and  somewhat 
from  the  jealousy,  if  not  treachery,  of  his  colleague,  the  Duke 
of  Newcastle.  The  squib  pictures  the  King's  embarrass- 
ment and  anger  at  being  forced  to  dismiss  "Walpole,  and  to 
Carteret  whom  he  Jias  charged  to  form  a  ministry :  — 

"  Quoth  the  King :   '  My  good  lord,  perhaps  you've  been  told 
That  I  used  to  abuse  you  a  little  of  old, 
But  now  bring  whom  you  will,  and  eke  turn  away, 
Let  but  me  and  my  money  at  Walmoden  stay." 

Lord  Carteret,  explaining  to  the  King  whom  he  shall  keep 
of  the  old  ministry,  includes  the  Duke  of  Newcastle :  — 

"Though  Newcastle's  false,  as  he's  silly  I  know, 
By  betraying  old  Eobin  to  me  long  ago, 
As  well  as  all  those  who  employed  him  before, 
Yet  I  leave  him  in  place,  but  I  leave  him  no  power. 

"  For  granting  his  heart  is  as  black  as  his  hat, 
With  no  more  truth  in  this  than  there's  sense  beneath  that, 
Yet,  as  he's  a  coward,  he'll  shake  when  I  frown ; 
You  called  him  a  rascal,  I'll  use  him  like  one. 

"For  your  foreign  affairs,  howe'er  they  turn  out, 
At  least  I'll  take  care  you  shall  make  a  great  rout ; 
Then  cock  your  great  hat,  strut,  bounce,  and  look  bluff, 
For,  though  kick'd  and  cuff'd  here,  you  shall  there  kick  and  cuffi, 

"  That  Walpole  did  nothing  they  all  used  to  say, 
So  I'll  do  enough,  but  I'll  make  the  dogs  pay ; 
Great  fleets  I'll  provide,  and  great  armies  engage, 
Whate'er  debts  we  make,  or  whate'er  wars  we  wage ! 

"  With  cordials  like  these  the  monarch's  new  guest 
Reviv'd  his  sunk  spirits,  and  gladdened  his  breast ; 
Till  in  rapture  he  cried,  '  My  dear  Lord,  you  shall  do 
Whatever  you  will  —  give  me  troops  to  review.' " 

In  1743,  King  George  II.  actually  tried  to  engage  this 
country,  by  a  private  agreement,  to  pay  £300,000  a  year  to 


the  Queen  of  Hungary,  "  as  long  as  war  should  continue, 
or  the  necessity  of  her  affairs  should  require."  The  King, 
being  in  Hanover,  sent  over  the  treaty  to  England,  with  a 
warrant  directing  the  Lords  Justices  to  "  ratify  and  con- 
firm it,"  which,  however,  they  refused  to  do.  On  hearing 
that  the  Lord  Chancellor  refused  to  sanction  the  arrange- 
ment, King  George  H.  threatened,  through  Earl  Granville, 
to  affix  the  Great  Seal  with  his  own  hand.  Ultimately  the 
£300,000  per  annum  was  agreed  to  be  paid  so  long  as  the 
war  lasted,  but  this  sum  was  in  more  than  one  instance 

Although  George  II.  had  induced  the  country  to  vote 
such  large  sums  to  Maria  Therese,  the  Empress-Queen,  he 
nevertheless  abandoned  her  in  a  most  cowardly  manner 
when  he  thought  his  Hanoverian  dominions  in  danger,  and 
actually  treated  with  France  without  the  knowledge  or 
consent  of  his  ministry.  A  rhyming  squib,  in  which  the 
King  is  termed  the  "  Balancing  Captain,"  from  which  we 
present  the  following  extracts,  will  serve  to  show  the  feel- 
ing widely  manifested  in  England  at  that  time :  — 

"  I'll  tell  you  a  story  as  strange  as  'tis  new, 
Which  all  who're  concerned  will  allow  to  be  true, 
Of  a  Balancing  Captain,  well  known  hereabouts, 
Returned  home  (God  save  him)  a  mere  king  of  clouts. 

"  This  Captain  he  takes  in  a  gold  ballasted  ship, 
Each  summer  to  terra  damnosa  a  trip, 
For  which  he  begs,  borrows,  scrapes  all  he  can  get, 
And  runs  his  poor  owners  most  vijely  in  debt. 

"  The  last  time  he  set  out  for  this  blessed  place, 
He  met  them,  and  told  them  a  most  piteous  case, 
Of  a  sister  of  his,  who,  though  bred  up  at  court, 
Was  ready  to  perish  for  want  of  support. 

"  This  Hungary  sister  he  then  did  pretend, 
Would  be  to  bis  owners  a  notable  friend, 


If  they  would  at  that  critical  juncture  supply  her; 
They  did  —  but,  alas !  all  the  fat's  in  the  fire  1 " 

The  ballad  then  suggests  that  the  King,  having  got  all 
the  money  possible,  made  a  peace  with  the  enemies  of  the 
Queen  of  Hungary,  described  in  the  ballad  as  the  sister :  — 

"He  then  turns  his  sister  adrift,  and  declares 
Her  most  mortal  foes  were  her  father's  right  heirs  : 
'  G — d  z — ds ! '  cries  the  world,  '  such  a  step  was  ne'er  taken ! ' 
'  Oh,  oh ! '  says  Moll  Bluff,  '  I  have  saved  my  own  bacon. 

"  '  Let  France  damn  the  Germans,  and  undamn  the  Dutch, 
And  Spain  on  old  England  pish  ever  so  much ; 
Let  Russia  bang  Sweden,  or  Sweden  bang  that, 
I  care  not,  by  Robert,  one  Icicle  of  my  hat  ! 

"  '  Or  should  my  chous'd  owners  begin  to  look  sour, 
I'll  trust  to  mate  Sob  to  exert  his  old  power, 
Regit  animos  dictis,  or  numis  with  ease 
So,  spite  of  your  growling,  I'll  act  as  I  please  I ' " 

The  British  Nation,  described  as  the  owners,  are  cau- 
tioned to  look  into  the  accounts  of  their  Captain,  who  is 
bringing  them  to  insolvency :  — 

"  This  secret,  however,  must  out  on  the  day 
When  he  meets  his  poor  owners  to  ask  for  his  pay ; 
And  I  fear,  when  they  come  to  adjust  the  account, 
A  zero  for  balance  will  prove  their  amount." 

The  final  result  of  all  these  subsidy  votes  was  to  increase 
our  national  debt,  up  to  the  signing  of  the  treaty  of  Aix- 
la-Chapelle,  to  £76,000,000 ;  while  the  seven  years'  war, 
which  came  later,  brought  the  debt  to  £133,000,000,  not  in- 
cluding in  this  the  capitalized  value  of  the  terminable  an- 

On  November  22d,  1743,  a  caricature  was  published, 
which  had  a  wide  sale,  and  which  represented  the  King  as 


a  fat  Hanoverian  white  horse  riding  to  death  a  nearly 
starved  British  lion. 

In  1744,  £200,000  was  voted,  which  King  George  and 
Lord  Carteret,  who  was  called  by  William  Pitt,  his  "  Han- 
overian troop  minister,"  had  agreed  to  give  the  King  of 
Sardinia.  £40,000  was  also  voted  for  a  payment  made  by 
the  King  to  the  Duke  of  Arenberg.  This  payment  was 
denounced  by  Mr.  Lyttelton  as  a  dangerous  misapplication 
of  public  money. 

The  votes  for  foreign  subsidies  alone,  in  1744,  were 
£691,426,  while  the  Hanoverian  soldiers  cost  us  £393,773. 
The  King  actually  tried  in  addition,  in  the  month  of  Au- 
gust, to  get  a  further  subsidy  for  his  friend,  the  Elector  of 
Saxony,  and  another  for  the  King  of  Poland,  and  this  when 
Englishmen  and  Irishmen  were  lacking  bread.  Nor  was 
even  a  pretence  made  in  some  instances  of  earning  the 
money.  £150,000  was  paid  this  year  to  keep  Prince 
Charles  in  Alsace,  and  the  moment  Austria  got  the  money, 
Prince  Charles  was  withdrawn,  and  Henry  Pelham,  writing 
to  the  Duke  of  Newcastle,  says,  "  The  same  will  be  the 
case  with  every  sum  of  money  we  advance.  The  allies  will 
take  it,  and  then  act  as  suits  their  convenience  and  se- 
curity." In  the  four  years  from  1744  to  1747,  both  included, 
we  paid  £4,342,683  for  foreign  troops  and  subsidies,  not 
including  the  Dutch  and  Hessians,  whom  we  hired  to  put 
down  the  rebellion  of  1745.  In  the  case  of  the  whole  of 
this  war,  in  which  we  subsidized  all  our  allies  except  the 
Dutch,  it  is  clear  that  the  direct  and  sole  blame  rests  upon 
the  King,  who  cared  nothing  for  English  interests  in  the 
matter.  When  firmly  remonstrated  with  by  Lord  Chancel- 
lor Hardwicke,  his  repty  was  what  the  Duke  of  Newcastle 
describes  as  "  almost  sullen  silence." 

For  the  rebellion  of  1745  —  which  came  so  near  being 
successful,  and  which  would  have  thoroughly  succeeded  had 


the  Pretender's  son  possessed  any  sort  of  ability  as  a  leader 
—  there  is  little  room  to  spare  here.  The  attempt  to  sup- 
press it  in  its  early  stages  is  thus  described  in  a  Jacobite 
ballad :  — 

"  Horse,  foot,  and  dragoons,  from  lost  Flanders  they  call, 
With  Hessians  and  Danes,  and  the  devil  and  all ; 
And  hunters  and  rangers  led  by  Oglethorpe ; 
And  the  Church,  at  the  bum  of  the  Bishop  of  York. 
And  pray,  who  so  fit  to  lead  forth  this  parade, 
As  the  babe  of  Tangier,  my  old  grandmother  Wade? 
Whose  cunning's  so  quick,  but  whose  motion's  so  slow, 
That  the  rebels  marched  on,  while  he  stuck  in  the  snow." 

The  hideously  disgusting  cruelties  and  horrible  excesses 
committed  by  the  infamous  Duke  of  Cumberland,  and  the 
Hessians  and  Hanoverians  under  his  command,  in  sup- 
pressing the  rebellion  after  the  battle  of  Culloden,  are, 
alas  !  too  well  known.  Duncan  Forbes,  Lord  President  of 
the  Court  of  Session,  and  a  warm  supporter  of  the  Bruns- 
wicks,  remonstrating  with  the  Duke  as  to  the  latter's  dis- 
regard of  the  laws  of  the  country,  his  Royal  Highness  of 
Cumberland  replied  with  an  oath :  "  The  laws  of  my  coun- 
try, my  lord ;  I'll  make  a  brigade  give  laws."  Scotland 
has  many  reasons  for  loving  the  House  of  Brunswick. 
Lord  Waldegrave,  who  strove  hard  to  whitewash  the  Duke 
of  Cumberland,  says  that  "  Frederick  Prince  of  Wales  gave 
too  much  credit  to  the  most  malignant  and  groundless  accu- 
sations, by  showing  favor  to  every  man  who  aspersed  his 
brother's  character." 

In  1747,  £456,733  was  voted  by  Parliament  for  the  pay- 
ment of  the  King's  debts. 

In  1748,  considerable  difficulty  arose  in  consequence  of 
the  King's  intrigues  to  obtain,  at  the  expense  of  England, 
the  Bishopric  of  Osnaburg  as  a  princely  establishment  for 
his  favorite  son,  the  Duke  of  Cumberland,  that  pious  prince, 


much  esteemed  in  Scotland  as  "  the  butcher."  The  most 
open  hostility  subsisted  between  the  Duke  of  Cumberland 
and  Prince  Frederick,  and  pamphleteering  attacks  on  the 
former,  for  his  brutality  and  excesses,  were  supposed  to  be 
encouraged  by  the  Leicester  House  party. 

Amongst  the  curious  scandals  of  1749,  it  is  stated  that 
the  King  —  being  present  at  a  masked  ball,  at  which  Eliza- 
beth Chudleigh,  afterwards  Duchess  of  Kingston,  figured 
as  "La  Belle  Sauvage "  in  a  close-fitting  dress  of  flesh-col- 
ored silk,  requested  permission  to  place  his  hand  on  Miss 
Chudlcigh's  breast.  The  latter  replied  that  she  would  put 
the  King's  hand  on  a  still  softer  place,  and  immediately 
raised  it  to  his  own  royal  forehead. 

On  the  20th  March,  1751,  Frederick,  Prince  of  Wales, 
died.  The  King,  who  received  the  news  while  playing 
cards  with  his  mistress,  Lady  Yarmouth,  and  who  had  not 
spoken  to  his  son  for  years,  merely  said,  "  Freddy  is  dead." 
On  this  subject  Thackeray  preserves  for  us  the  following 
epitaph :  — 

"  Here  lies  Fred, 
Who  was  alive,  and  is  dead. 
Had  it  been  his  father, 
I  had  much  rather. 
Had  it  been  his  brother, 
Still  better  than  another. 
Had  it  been  his  sister, 
No  one  would  have  missed  her. 
Had  it  been  the  whole  generation, 
Still  better  for  the  nation. 
But  since  'tis  only  Fred, 
Who  was  alive,  and  is  dead, 
There's  no  more  to  be  said." 

In  1755  there  was  the  second  war,  estimated  to  have 
cost  £111,271,996.  In  this  George  II.  pursued  exactly  the 
opposite  course  of  policy  to  that  taken  by  him  in  the  pre- 


vious  one.  The  war  during  the  years  following  1739  was 
for  the  humiliation  of  the  King  of  Prussia  ;  the  policy  in 
the  last  war  was  to  prevent  his  humiliation.  Mr.  Baxter 
estimates  the  debt  (exclusive  of  annuities)  at  £133,000,000  ; 
Dr.  Colquhoun,  adding  the  value  of  the  annuities,  makes  it 
£146,682,843  at  the  conclusion  of  this  war. 

Towards  the  close  of  the  reign  of  George  II.,  who  died 
on  October  25th,  1760,  his  Royal  Highness  the  Duke  of 
Cumberland,  by  an  exhibition  of  great  strategy,  combined 
with  much  discretionary  valor,  succeeded  in  making  peace 
on  terms  which  ensured  the  repose  of  himself  and  his  Han- 
overian forces  during  the  remainder  of  the  war.  At  home 
his  Eoyal  Highness  was  much  attacked,  some  venturing  to 
describe  his  personal  conduct  as  cowardly,  and  his  gener- 
alship as  contemptible.  It  is  a  sufficient  refutation  of  such 
a  calumny  to  say  that  the  Duke  of  Cumberland  was  as 
brave  a  soldier  and  as  able  a  general  as  our  present  Com- 
mander-in-Chief,  his  Royal  Highness  the  Duke  of  Cam- 

Lord  Waldegrave,  who  wrote  in  favor  of  George  II.,  ad- 
mits that  the  King  "  is  accused  by  his  ministers  of  being 
hasty  and  passionate  when  any  measure  is  proposed  which 
he  does  not  approve  of."  That  "too  great  attention  to 
money  seems  to  be  his  capital  failing."  And  that  "  his 
political  courage  seems  somewhat  problematical."  Philli- 
more  says  :  "In  public  life  he  was  altogether  indifferent  to 
the  welfare  of  England,  except  as  it  affected  his  Electo- 
rate's or  his  own.  Always  purchasing  concubines,  he  was 
always  governed  by  his  wife.  In  private  life  he  was  a 
gross  lover,  an  unreasonable  master,  a  coarsely  unfaithful 
husband,  an  unnatural  parent,  and  a  selfish  man." 

No  more  fitting  conclusion  can  be  found  to  this  chapter 
than  the  following  pregnant  words  from  the  pen  of  Lord 
Macaulay :  "At  the  close  of  the  reign  of  George  H.  the 


feeling  of  aversion  with  which  the  House  of  Brunswick  had 
long  been  regarded  by  half  the  nation  had  died  away  ;  but 
no  feeling  of  affection  to  that  house  had  yet  sprung  up. 
There  was  little,  indeed,  in  the  old  King's  character  to  in- 
spire esteem  or  tenderness.  He  was  not  our  countryman. 
He  never  set  foot  on  our  soil  till  he  was  more  than  thirty 
years  old.  His  speech  bewraj^ed  his  foreign  origin  and 
breeding.  His  love  for  his  native  land,  though  the  most 
amiable  part  of  his  character,  was  not  likely  to  endear  him 
to  his  British  subjects.  He  was  never  so  happy  as  when  he 
could  exchange  St.  James's  for  Heranhausen.  Year  after  year 
our  fleets  were  employed  to  convoy  him  to  the  Continent, 
and  the  interests  of  his  kingdom  were  as  nothing  to  him 
when  compared  with  the  interests  of  his  Electorate.  As  to 
the  rest,  he  had  neither  the  qualities  which  make  dulness 
respectable,  nor  the  qualities  which  make  libertinism  attract- 
ive. He  had  been  a  bad  son  and  a  worse  father,  an  unfaith- 
ful husband  and  an  ungraceful  lover.  Not  one  magnanimous 
or  humane  action  is  recorded  of  him  ;  but  many  instances 
of  meanness,  and  of  a  harshness  which,  but  for  the  strong 
constitutional  restraints  under  which  he  was  placed,  might 
have  made  the  misery  of  his  people." 



WHEN  George  H.  died,  his  grandson  and  successor, 
Greorge  HI.,  was  twenty-two  years  of  age.  The  Civil  List 
of  the  new  King  was  fixed  at  £800,000  a  year,  "  a  provis- 
ion," says  Phillimore,  in  his  "  History  of  England,"  "  that 
soon  became  inadequate  to  the  clandestine  purposes  of 
George  III.,  and  for  the  purchase  of  the  mercenary  depend- 


ents,  on  the  support  of  whom  his  unconstitutional  proceed- 
ings obliged  him  to  depend."  The  Civil  List  of  George  III. 
was  not,  however,  really  so  large  as  that  of  her  present 
Majesty.  The  Civil  List  disbursements  included  such  items 
as  Secret  Service,  now  charged  separately ;  pensions  and 
annuities,  now  charged  separately ;  diplomatic  salaries,  now 
forming  distinct  items  ;  fees  and  salaries  of  ministers  and 
judges,  now  forming  no  part  of  the  charge  against  the  Civil 
List.  So  that  though  £924,041  was  the  Civil  List  of  George 
III.  four  years  after  he  ascended  the  throne,  in  truth  to-day 
the  Royal  Family  alone  get  much  more  than  all  the  great 
offices  and  machinery  of  State  then  cost.  The  Royal  Fam- 
ily at*  the  present  time  get  from  the  country,  avowedly  and 
secretly,  about  one  million  sterling  a  year. 

"  At  the  accession  of  George  III.,"  says  Thackeray,  "  the 
Patricians  were  yet  at  the  height  of  their  good  fortune. 
Society  recognized  their  superiority,  which  they  themselves 
pretty  calmly  took  for  granted.  They  inherited  not  only 
titles  and  estates,  and  seats  in  the  House  of  Peers,  but 
seats  in  the  House  of  Commons.  There  were  a  multitude  of 
Government  places,  and  not  merely  these,  but  bribes  of 
actual  £500  notes,  which  members  of  the  House  took  not 
much  shame  in  assuming.  Fox  went  into  Parliament  at 
twenty,  Pitt  was  just  of  age,  his  father  not  much  older.  It 
was  the  good  time  for  Patricians." 

A  change  of  political  parties  was  imminent ;  Whig  rule 
had  lasted  seventy  years,  and  England  had  become  tolerably 
disgusted  with  the  consequences. 

"•Now  that  George  II.  was  dead,"  says  Macaulay,  "  a 
courtier  might  venture  to  ask  why  England  was  to  become 

a  party  in  a  dispute  between  two  German  powers.  A 

was  it  to  her  whether  the  House  of  Hapsburg  or  t 

of  Brandenburg  ruled  in   Silesia?     Why  were^jhe|( 
English  regiments  fighting  on  the  Maine?    Why 


Prussian  battalions  paid  with  English  gold  ?  The  great 
minister  seemed  to  think  it  beneath  him  to  calculate  the 
price  of  victory.  As  long  as  the  Tower  guns  were  fired,  as 
the  streets  were  illuminated,  as  French  banners  were  car- 
ried in  triumph  through  London,  it  was  to  him  matter  of 
indifference  to  what  extent  the  public  burdens  were  aug- 
mented. Nay,  he  seemed  to  glory  in  the  magnitude  of 
those  sacrifices  which  the  people,  fascinated  by  his  eloquence 
and  success,  had  too  readily  made,  and  would  long  and  bit- 
terly regret.  There  was  no  check  on  waste  or  embezzle- 
ment. Our  commissaries  returned  from  the  camp  of  Prince 
Ferdinand,  to  buy  boroughs,  to  rear  palaces,  to  rival  the 
magnificence  of  the  old  aristocracy  of  the  realm.  Already 
had  we  borrowed,  in  four  years  of  war,  more  than  the  most 
skilful  and  economical  government  would  pay  in  forty 
years  of  peace." 

The  Church  allied  itself  with  the  Tories,  who  assumed  the 
reins  of  government,  and  thenceforth  totally  forgot  the  views 
of  liberty  they  had  maintained  when  in  opposition.  The 
policy  of  all  their  succeeding  legislation  was  that  of  mis- 
chievous retrogression ;  they  sought  to  excel  the  old  Whigs 
in  their  efforts  to  consolidate  the  aristocracy  at  the  expense 
of  the  people, 

"  This  reactionary  movement,"  says  Buckle,  "was  greatly 
aided  by  the  personal  character  of  George  III. ;  for  he, 
being  despotic  as  well  as  superstitious,  was  equally  anxious 
to  extend  the  prerogative,  and  strengthen  the  Church. 
Every  liberal  sentiment,  everything  approaching  to  reform, 
nay,  even  the  mere  mention  of  inquiry,  was  an  abomination 
in  the  eyes  of  that  narrow  and  ignorant  Prince.  Without 
knowledge,  without  taste,  without  even  a  glimpse  of  one  of 
the  sciences,  or  a  feeling  for  one  of  the  fine  arts,  education 
had  done  nothing  to  enlarge  a  mind  .which  nature  had  more 
tkan  usually  contracted.  Totally  ignorant  of  the  history 


and  resources  of  foreign  countries,  and  barely  knowing 
their  geographical  position,  his  information  was  scarcely 
more  extensive  respecting  the  people  over  whom  he  was 
called  to  rule.  In  that  immense  mass  of  evidence  now 
extant,  and  which  consists  of  every  description  of  private 
correspondence,  records  of  private  conversation,  and  of 
public  acts,  there  is  not  to  be  found  the  slightest  proof  that 
he  knew  any  one  of  those  numerous  things  which  the  gov- 
ernor of  a  country  ought  to  know ;  or,  indeed,  that  he  was 
acquainted  with  a  single  duty  of  his  positioti,  except  the 
mere  mechanical  routine  of  ordinary  business,  which  might 
have  been  effected  by  the  lowest  clerk  in  the  meanest  office 
in  his  kingdom. 

"  He  gathered  round  his  throne  that  great  party,  who, 
clinging  to  the  tradition  of  the  past,  have  always  made  it 
their  boast  to  check  the  progress  of  their  age.  During  the 
sixty  years  of  his  reign,  he,  with  the  sole  exception  of  Pitt, 
never  willingly  admitted  to  his  councils  a  single  man  of 
great  ability :  not  one  whose  name  is  associated  with  any 
measure  of  value,  either  in  domestic  or  foreign  policy. 
Even  Pitt  only  maintained  his  position  in  the  State  by  for- 
getting the  lessons  of  his  illustrious  father,  and  abandoning 
those  liberal  principles  in  which  he  had  been  educatedj  and 
with  which  he  entered  public  life.  Because  George  III. 
hated  the  idea  of  reform,  Pitt  not  only  relinquished  what 
he  had  before  declared  to  be  absolutely  necessary,  but  did 
not  hesitate  to  persecute  to  death  the  party  with  whom  he 
had  once  associated  in  order  to  obtain  it.  Because  George 
III.  looked  upon  slavery  as  one  of  those  good  old  customs 
which  the  wisdom  of  his  ancestors  had  consecrated,  Pitt  did 
not  dare  to  use  his  power  for  procuring  its  abolition,  but 
left  to  his  successors  the  glory  of  destroying  that  infamous 
trade,  on  the  preservation  of  which  his  royal  master  had 
set  his  heart.  Because  George  III.  detested  the  French, 


of  whom  he  knew  as  much  as  he  knew  of  the  inhabitants 
of  Kamschatka  or  Thibet,  Pitt,  contrary  to  his  own  judg- 
ment, engaged  in  a  war  with  France,  by  which  England 
was  seriously  imperilled,  and  the  English  people  burdened 
with  a  debt  that  their  remotest  posterity  will  be  unable  to 
pay.  But,  notwithstanding  all  this,  when  Pitt,  only  a  few 
years  before  his  death,  showed  a  determination  to  concede 
to  the  Irish  a  small  share  of  their  undoubted  rights,  the 
King  dismissed  him  from  office,  and  the  King's  friends,  as 
they  were  csflled,  expressed  their  indignation  at  the  pre- 
sumption of  a  minister  who  could  oppose  the  wishes  of  so 
benign  and  gracious  a  master.  And  when,  unhappily  for 
his  own  fame,  this  great  man  determined  to  return  to 
power,  he  could  only  recover  office  by  conceding  that  very 
point  for  which  he  had  relinquished  it ;  thus  setting  the 
mischievous  example  of  the  minister  of  a  free  country  sac- 
rificing his  own  judgment  to  the  personal  prejudices  of  the 
reigning  sovereign.  As  it  was  hardly  possible  to  find  other 
ministers  who  to  equal  abilities  would  add  equal  subservi- 
ence, it  is  not  surprising  that  the  highest  offices  were  con- 
stantly filled  with  men  of  notorious  incapacity.  Indeed, 
the  King  seemed  to  have  an  instinctive  antipathy  to  every- 
thing great  and  noble.  During  the  reign  of  George  II.  the 
elder  Pitt  had  won  for  himself  a  reputation  which  covered 
the  world,  and  had  carried  to  an  unprecedented  height  the 
glories  of  the  English  name.  He,  however,  as  the  avowed 
friend  of  popular  rights,  strenuously  opposed  the  despotic 
principles  of  the  Court ;  and  for  this  reason  he  was  hated  by 
George  III.  with  a  hatred  that  seemed  barely  compatible 
with  a  sane  mind.  Fox  was  one  of  the  greatest  statesmen 
of  the  18th  century,  and  was  better  acquainted  than  any 
other  with  the  character  and  resources  of  those  foreign 
nations  with  which  our  interests  were  intimately  connected. 
To  this  rare  and  important  knowledge  he  added  a  sweet- 


ness  and  amenity  of  temper  which  extorted  the  praises  even 
of  his  political  opponents.  But  he,  too,  was  the  steady 
supporter  of  civil  and  religious  liberty ;  and  he,  too,  was  so 
detested  by  George  III.,  that  the  King,  with  his  own  hand, 
struck  his  name  out  of  the  list  of  Privy  Councillors,  and 
declared  that  he  would  rather  abdicate  the  throne  than 
admit  him  to  a  share  in  the  government. 

"  While  this  unfavorable  change  was  taking  place  in  the 
sovereign  and  ministers  of  the  country,  a  change  equally 
unfavorable  was  being  effected  in  the  second  branch  of  the 
imperial  legislature.  Until  the  reign  of  George  III.  the 
House  of  Lords  was  decidedly  superior  to  the  House  of 
Commons  in  the  liberality  and  general  accomplishments  of 
its  members.  It  is  true  that  in  both  Houses  there  prevailed 
a  spirit  which  must  be  called  narrow  and  superstitious  if 
tried  by  the  larger  standard  of  the  present  age. 

"  The  superiority  of  the  Upper  House  over  the  Lower 
was,  on  the  whole,  steadily  maintained  during  the  reign  of 
George  II.,  the  ministers  not  being  anxious  to  strengthen 
the  High  Church  party  in  the  Lords,  and  the  King  himself 
so  rarely  suggesting  fresh  creations  as  to  cause  a  belief  that 
he  particularly  disliked  increasing  their  numbers.  It  was 
reserved  for  George  IH.,  by  an  unsparing  use  of  his  prerog- 
ative, entirely  to  change  the  character  of  the  Upper  House, 
and  thus  lay  the  foundation  for  that  disrepute  into  which, 
since  then,  the  peers  have  been  constantly  falling.  The 
creations  he  made  were  numerous  beyond  all  precedent, 
their  object  evidently  being  to  neutralize  the  liberal  spirit 
hitherto  prevailing,  and  thus  turn  the  House  of  Lords  into 
an  engine  for  resisting  the  popular  wishes,  and  stopping  the 
progress  of  reform.  How  completely  this  plan  succeeded 
is  well  known  to  the  readers  of  our  history ;  indeed,  it  was 
sure  to  be  successful  considering  the  character  of  the  men 
who  were  promoted.  They  consisted  almost  entirely  of 


two  classes :  of  country  gentlemen,  remarkable  for  nothing 
but  their  wealth,  and  the  number  of  votes  their  wealth  ena- 
bled them  to  control ;  and  of  mere  lawyers,  who  had  risen 
to  judicial  appointments  partly  from  their  professional 
learning,  but  chiefly  from  the  zeal  with  which  they  repressed 
the  popular  liberties,  and  favored  the  royal  prerogative. 

"  That  this  is  no  exaggerated  description  may  be  ascer- 
tained by  any  one  who  will  consult  the  lists  of  the  new 
peers  made  by  George  III. 

"  Here  and  there  we  find  an  eminent  man,  whose  public 
services  were  so  notorious  that  it  was  impossible  to  avoid 
rewarding  them ;  but,  putting  aside  those  who  were  in  a 
manner  forced  upon  the  sovereign,  it  would  be  idle  to  deny 
that  the  remainder,  and  of  course  the  overwhelming  major- 
ity, were  marked  by  a  narrowness  and  iUiberality  of  senti- 
ment which,  more  than  anything  else,  brought  the  whole 
order  into  contempt.  No  great  thinkers,  no  great  writers, 
no  great  orators,  no  great  statesmen,  none  of  the  true 
nobility  of  the  land,  were  to  be  found  among  the  spurious 
nobles  created  by  George  III." 

In  the  early  part  of  his  reign,  George  III.  (whom  even 
the  courtly  Alison  pictures  as  having  "  little  education  and 
no  great  acquired  information")  was  very  much  under  the 
influence  of  his  mother,  who  had,  previously  to  his  being 
King,  often  spoken  of  her  son  with  contempt.  The  Prin- 
cess of  Wales,  in  turn,  was  almost  entirely  guided  by  Lord 
Bute,  represented  by  scandal,  says  Macaulay,  as  "  her 
favored  lover."  "  Of  this  attachment,"  says  Dr.  Doran, 
"  the  Prince  of  Wales  himself  is  said  to  have  had  full 
knowledge,  and  did  not  object  to  Lord  Bute  taking  soli- 
tary walks  with  the  Princess,  while  he  could  do  the  same 
with  Lady  Middlesex."  The  most  infamous  stories  were 
circulated  in  the  Whisperer,  and  other  journals  of  the  time, 
as  to  the  nature  of  the  association  between  the  Scotch  Peer 


and  the  King's  mother,  and  its  results.  Phillimore  regards 
the  Princess  of  Wales  as  "  before  and  after  her  husband's 
death  the  mistress  of  Lord  Bute."  The  Princess  Dowager 
seems  to  have  been  a  hard  woman.  Walpole  tells  us  how, 
when  the  Princess  Dowager  reproved  one  of  her  maids  of 
honor  for  irregular  habits,  the  latter  replied,  "Madame, 
chacun  a  son  But."  "  Seeing,"  says  Thackeray,  "  the  }7oung 
Duke  of  Gloucester  silent  and  unhappy  once,  she  sharply 
asked  him  the  cause  of  his  silence.  '  I  am  thinking,'  said 
the  poor  child.  '  Thinking,  sir !  and  of  what  ? '  —  'I  am 
thinking  if  ever  I  have  a  son,  I  will  not  make  him  so 
unhappy  as  you  make  me.'" 

John  Stuart,  Earl  of  Bute,  shared  with  William  Pitt  and 
John  Wilkes  the  bulk  of  popular  attention  during  the  first 
ten  years  of  the  King's  reign.  Bute  had  risen  rapidly  to 
favor,  having  attracted  the  attention  of  the  Princess  Dow- 
ager at  some  private  theatricals,  and  he  became  by  her 
influence  Groom  of  the  Stole.  His  poverty  and  ambition 
made  him  grasp  at  power,  both  against  the  great  Commoner 
and  the  Pelham  faction ;  and  a  lady  observer  described  the 
great  question  of  the  day,  in  1760,  as  being  whether  the 
King  would  burn  in  his  chamber  Scotch  coal,  Newcastle 
coal,  or  Pitt  coal.  Macaulay,  who  seems  to  have  followed 
Lord  Waldegrave's  "  Memoirs,"  says  of  Bute :  "  A  hand- 
some leg  was  among  his  chief  qualifications  for  the  stage. 
.  .  .  His  understanding  was  narrow,  his  manners  cold  and 
haughty."  His  qualifications  for  the  part  of  a  statesman 
were  best  described  by  Prince  Frederick,  who  often  in- 
dulged in  the  unprincely  luxury  of  sneering  at  his  depend- 
ents. "  Bute,"  said  his  Royal  Highness,  "  you  are  the 
very  man  to  be  envoy  at  some  small  proud  German  Court) 
where  there  is  nothing  to  do."  Phillimore  speaks  of  Lord 
Bute  as  "  a  minion  raised  by  Court  favor  to  a  post  where 


his  ignorance,  mean  understanding,  and  disregard  of  Eng- 
lish honor,  became  national  calamities." 

The  King's  speech  on  his  accession  is  said  to  have  been 
drawn  up  by  Bute,  who  did  not  then  belong  to  the  Council, 
but  the  terms  being  vehemently  objected  to  by  Pitt,  it  was 
actually  altered  after  delivery,  and  before  it  found  its  way. 
to  the  printer. 

Whatever  were  the  relations  between  Lord  Bute  and  the 
Princess  Dowager,  it  is  quite  certain  that  on  more  than  one 
occasion  George  III.  condescended  not  only  to  prevaricate, 
but  to  lie  as  to  the  influence  exercised  by  Lord  Bute.  It 
is  certain,  from  the  "  Memoirs  "  of  Earl  Waldegrave,  and 
other  trustworthy  sources,  that  the  Scotch  Earl,  after  being 
hissed  out  of  office  by  the  people,  was  still  secretly  con- 
sulted by  the  King,  who,  like  a  truly  Royal  Brunswick,  did 
not  hesitate  to  use  falsehood  on  the  subject  even  to  his  own 
ministers.  Philliniore,  in  remarkably  strong  language, 
describes  George  III.  as  "  an  ignorant,  dishonest,  obsti- 
nate, narrow-minded  bo3r,  at  that  very  moment  the  tool  of 
an  adulteress  and  her  paramour."  The  Duke  of  Bedford  has 
put  upon  record,  in  his  correspondence,  not  only  his  con- 
viction that  the  King  behaved  unfaithfully  to  his  ministers, 
but  asserts  that  he  told  him  so  to  his  face. 

In  1759,  George  was  married  to  Hannah  Lightfoot,  a 
Quakeress,  in  Curzon  Street  Chapel,  May  Fair,  in  the 
presence  of  his  brother,  Edward,  Duke  of  York.  Great 
doubt  has,  however,  been  cast  on  the  legality  of  this  mar- 
riage, as  it  would,  if  in  all  respects  valid,  have  rendered 
null  as  a  bigamous  contract  the  subsequent  marriage  en- 
tered into  by  the  King.  Dr.  Doran  says  that  the  Prince  of 
Wales,  afterwards  George  IV.,  when  needing  money  in 
later  years,  used  this  Lightfoot  marriage  as  a  threat  against 
his  royal  parents  —  that  is,  that  he  threatened  to  expose 
his  mother's  shame  and  his  own  illegitimacy  if  the  Queen 


would  not  use  her  influence  with  Pitt.  Glorious  family, 
these  Brunswicks !  Walpole  affirms  that  early  in  his  reign 
George  III.  admitted  to  his  uncle,  the  Duke  of  Cumber- 
land, "that  it  had  not  been  common  in  their  family  to  live 
well  together." 

On  the  18th  of  September,  1761,  George  was  married  to  the 
Princess  Charlotte  Sophia,  of  Mecklenburgh  Strelitz,  Han- 
nah Lightfoot  being  still  alive.  Of  the  new  Queen,  Philli- 
more  says :  "  If  to  watch  over  the  education  of  her  children 
and  to  promote  their  happiness  be  any  part  of  a  woman's 
duty,  she  has  little  claim  to  the  praises  that  have  been  so 
lavishly  bestowed  on  her  as  a  model  of  domestic  virtue. 
Her  religion  was  displayed  in  the  scrupulous  observance 
of  external  forms.  Repulsive  in  her  aspect,  grovelling  in 
her  instincts,  sordid  in  her  habits  ;  steeped  from  the  cradle 
in  the  stupid  pride  which  was  the  atmosphere  of  her  stolid 
and  most  insignificant  race ;  inexorably  severe'  to  those 
who  yielded  to  temptation  from  which  she  was  -protected, 
not  more  by  her  situation  and  the  vigilance  of  those  around 
her,  than  by  the  extreme  homeliness  of  her  person ;  bigoted, 
avaricious,  unamiable  to  brutality,  she  added  dulness  and 
gloom  even  to  the  English  court.? 

In  1761,  the  Duke  of  Bedford  was  Lord  Lieutenant  of 
Ireland ;  that  unfortunate  country,  for  centuries  governed 
by  men  who  tried  to  exterminate  its  natives,  and  which  was 
used  under  the  first  three  reigns  of  the  House  of  Brunswick 
as  a  sponge  out  of  which,  regardless  of  much  bloodshed 
and  more  misery,  gold  could  be  squeezed  for  the  dependents 
and  relatives  of  aristocrats  in  office.  His  reign  of  office  in 
Ireland  was  brief.  "Walpole  says  that  "  the  ill-humor  of 
the  country  determined  the  Duke  of  Bedford  to  quit  the 
Government,  after  having  amply  gratified  his  family  and 
dependents  with  pensions."  It  was  this  Duke  of  Bedford 
who  consented  that  the  Princess  of  Hesse  should  have  a 


pension  of  £6,000  a  year  out  of  the  Irish  revenues,  and 
who  gave  to  his  own  relative,  the  Lady  Betty  Waldegrave, 
£800  a  year  from  the  same  source.  Shortly  after  this, 
Prince  Charles,  of  Strelitz,  the  Queen's  brother,  received 
£30,000  towards  the  payment  of  the  debts  he  owed  in 
Germany.  This  £30,000  was  nominally  given  by  the  King 
out  of  the  Civil  List,  but  was  really  paid  by  the  nation 
when  discharging  the  Civil  List  debts  which  it  increased. 
On  the  motion  of  Lord  Barrington,  £400,000  subsidy  was 
granted  this  year  to  the  Landgrave  of  Hesse,  under  a  secret 
treaty  made  by  George  II.,  without  the  knowledge  or  con- 
sent of  Parliament,  and  £300,000  was  also  voted  to  the 
Chancery  of  Hanover  for  forage  for  Hanoverian,  Prussian, 
and  Hessian  Cavalry. 

On  August  12th,  1762,  George,  Prince  of  Wales,  was 
born  ;  and  in  the  same  year,  with  the  direct  connivance  of 
George  III.,  the  peace  of  Paris  was  made  ;  a  peace  as  dis- 
graceful to  England,  under  the  circumstances,  as  can  pos- 
sibly be  imagined.  Lord  Bute,  who  was  roundly  charged 
with  receiving  money  from  France  for  his  services,  and  this 
with  the  knowledge  of  the  mother  of  George  IH.,  most 
certainly  communicated  to  the  French  minister  "  the  most 
secret  councils  of  the  English  Cabinet."  This  was  done 
with  the  distinct  concurrence  of  George  III.,  who  was  him- 
self bribed  by  the  immediate  evacuation  of  his  Hanoverian 
dominions.  In  the  debate  in  the  Lords  on  the  preliminaries 
of  peace,  Horace  Walpole  tells  us  that  "  the  Duke  of  Graf- 
ton,  with  great  weight  and  greater  warmth,  attacked  them 
severely,  and  looking  full  on  Lord  Bute,  imputed  to  him 
corruption  and  worse  arts."  Count  Virri,  the  disreputable 
agent  employed  in  this  matter  by  the  King  and  Lord  Bute, 
was  rewarded  under  the  false  name  of  George  Charles  with 
a  pension  of  £1,000  a  year  out  of  the  Irish  revenues. 
Phillimore  may  well  declare  that  Lord  Bute  was  "  a  minion, 


raised  by  court  favor  to  a  post  where  his  ignorance,  mean 
understanding,  and  disregard  of  English  honor,  became 
national  calamities."  To  carry  the  approval  of  this  peace 
of  Paris  through  the  Commons,  Fox,  afterwards  Lord  Hol- 
land, was  purchased  with  a  most  lucrative  appointment, 
although  only  shortly  before  he  had  published  a  print  of 
George,  with  the  following  lines,  referring  to  the  Princess 
Dowager  and  Lord  Bute,  written  under  the  likeness :  — 

"Son  of  a 

I  could  say  more." 

To  gain  a  majority  in  the  House  of  Commons,  Walpole 
tells  us  "  that  a  shop  was  publicly  opened  at  the  pay  office, 
whither  the  members  flocked  and  received  the  wages  of  their 
venality  in  bank  bills  even  to  so  low  a  sum  as  £200,  for 
their  votes  on  the  treaty.  £25,000  was  thus  issued  in  one 
morning."  Lord  Chesterfield  speaks  of  the  large  sums  dis- 
bursed by  the  King  "  for  the  hire  of  Parliament  men." 

As  an  illustration  of  the  unblushing  corruption  of  the 
age,  the  following  letter  from  Lord  Saye  and  Sele  to  Mr. 
Grenville,  then  Prime  Minister  of  England,  tells  its  own 
terrible  tale :  — 

"November  26th,  1763. 

"HONORED  SIR: — I  am  very  much  obliged  to  you  for 
that  freedom  of  converse  you  this  morning  indulged  me  in, 
which  I  prize  more  than  the  lucrative  advantage  I  then  re- 
ceived. To  show  the  sincerity  of  my  words  (pardon,  sir, 
the  over-niceness  of  my  disposition),  I  return  enclosed  the 
bill  for  £300  you  favored  me  with,  as  good  manners  would 
not  permit  my  refusal  of  it  when  tendered  by  you. 
"  Your  most  obliged  and  obedient  servant, 


"  As  a  free  horse  needs  no  spur,  so  I  stand  in  need  of  no 


inducement  or  douceur  to  lend  my  small  assistance  to  the 
King  or  his  friends  in  the  present  Administration." 

That  this  was  part  of  the  general  practice  of  the  Govern- 
ment under  George  III.  may  be  seen  by  the  following  ex- 
tract from  an  infamous  letter  written  about  fifteen  years 
later  by  the  Lord  Lieutenant  of  Ireland :  "  No  man  can  see 
the  inconvenience  of  increasing  the  Peers  more  forcibly 
than  myself,  but  the  recommendation  of  many  of  those 
persons  submitted  to  his  Majesty  for  that  honor,  arose  from 
the  engagements  taken  up  at  the  press  of  the.  moment  to 
rescue  questions  upon  which  the  English  Government  were 
very  particularly  anxious.  My  sentiments  cannot  but  be 
the  same  with  reference  to  the  Privy  Council  and  pensions, 
and  I  had  not  contracted  any  absolute  engagements  of  rec- 
ommendations either  to '  peerage  or  pension,  till  difficulties 
arose  which  necessarily  occasioned  so  much  anxiety  in  his 
Majesty's  Cabinet,  that  I  must  have  been  culpable  in  neg- 
lecting any  possible  means  to  secure  a  majority  in  the  House 
of  Commons." 

A  good  story  is  told  of  the  great  Commoner  Pitt's  repar- 
tee to  Fox  (afterwards  Lord  Holland),  in  one  of  the  debates 
of  this  period.  "  Pitt,"  says  the  London  Chronicle,  "  in 
the  heat  of  his  declamation,  proceeded  so  far  as  to  attack 
the  personal  deformity  of  Fox ;  and  represented  his  gloomy 
and  lowering  countenance,  with  the  penthouse  of  his  eye- 
brows, as  Churchill  phrases  it,  as  a  true  introduction  of  his 
dark  and  double  mind.  Mr.  Fox  was  nettled  at  this  per- 
sonal reflection,  and  the  more  so,  perhaps,  that  it  was  as 
just  as  it  was  eutting.  He  therefore  got  up,  and  after  in- 
veighing bitterly  against  the  indecency  of  his  antagonist, 
in  descending  to  remark  on  his  bodily  defects,  observed 
that  his  figure  was  such  as  God  Almighty  had  made  it,  and 
he  could  not  look  otherwise  ;  and  then,  in  a  tone  between 


the  plaintive  and  indignant,  cried  out,  '  How,  gentlemen, 
shall  I  look  ? '  Most  of  the  members,  apprehending  that  Mr. 
Pitt  had  gone  rather  too  far,  were  inclined  to  think  that  Mr. 
Fox  had  got  the  better  of  him.  But  Mr.  Pitt  started  up, 
and  with  one  of  those  happy  turns,  in  which  he  so  much 
excels,  silenced  his  rival,  and  made  him  sit  down  with  a 
countenance,  if  possible  more  abashed  than  formerly. 
'  Look  I  Sir,'  said  he  — '  look  as  you  cannot  look,  if  you 
would — look  as  you  dare  not  look,  if  you  could  —  look  like 
an  honest  man.' " 

In  the  London  Chronicle  for  March,  1763,  we  find  bitter 
complaints  that  since  1760,  "  every  obsolete,  Useless  place 
has  been  revived,  and  every  occasion  of  increasing  salaries 
seized  with  eagerness,"  and  that  a  great  Whig  leader  "  has 
just  condescended  to  stipulate  for  an  additional  salary, 
without  power,  as  the  price  of  his  support  to  the  Tory  Gov- 

In  March,  1763,  George  III.  gave  four  ships  of  war  to 
the  King  of  Sardinia  at  the  national  expense,  and  in  Au- 
gust appears  to  have  given  a  fifth  vessel. 

On  the  23d  of  April,  1763,  No.  45  of  the  North  Briton, 
a  journal  which  had  been  started  in  opposition  to  Lord 
Bute's  paper,  the  Briton,  was  published,  severely  criticising 
the  King's  speech,  and  warmly  attacking  Lord  Bute.  This 
issue  provoked  the  ministers  to  a  course  of  the  utmost  ille- 
gality. A  general  warrant  to  seize  all  persons  concerned 
in  the  publication  of  the  North  Briton,  without  specifying 
their  names,  was  immediately  issued  by  the  Secretary  of 
State,  and  a  number  of  printers  and  publishers  were  placed 
in  custody,  some  of  whom  were  not  at  all  concerned  in  the 
obnoxious  publication.  Late  on  the  night  of  the  29th  of 
April,  the  messengers  entered  the  house  of  John  Wilkes, 
M.P.  for  Aylesbury  (the  author  of  the  article  in  question), 
and  produced  their  warrant,  with  which  he  refused  to  com- 


ply.  On  the  following  morning,  however,  he  was  carried 
before  the  Secretary  of  State,  and  committed  a  close  pris- 
oner to  the  Tower,  his  papers  being  previous^  seized  and 
sealed,  and  all  access  to  his  person  strictly  prohibited.  The 
warrant  was  clearly  an  illegal  one,  and  had  only  been  pre- 
viously resorted  to  in  one  or  two  instances,  and  under  very 
extraordinary  circumstances,  of  which  there  were  none  in 
the  present  case.  Wilkes's  friends  immediately  obtained  a 
writ  of  habeas  corpus,  which  the  ministers  defeated  by  a 
mean  subterfuge  ;  and  it  was  found  necessary  to  obtain  a 
second  ^before  they  could  bring  the  prisoner  before  the  Court 
of  King's  Bench,  by  which  he  was  set  at  liberty,  on  the 
ground  of  his  privilege  as  a  Member  of  Parliament.  He 
then  opened  an  angry  correspondence,  followed  by  actions 
at  law,  against  the  Secretaries  of  State,  on  the  seizure  of 
his  papers,  and  for  the  wrongful  arrest.  These  actions 
abated,  although  in  the  one  for  the  seizure  of  the  papers  a 
verdict  was  given  for  £1,000  damages  and  costs.  But  in 
the  mean  time  the  Attorney-General  had  been  directed  to 
institute  a  prosecution  against  Wilkes,  in  the  King's  Bench, 
for  libel,  and  the  King  had  ordered  him  to  be  deprived  of 
his  commission  as  Colonel  in  the  Buckinghamshire  Militia. 
The  King  further  exhibited  his  resentment  by  depriving 
Lord  Temple  of  the  Lord-Lieutenancy  of  the  same  county, 
and  striking  his  name  out  of  the  Council-book,  for  an  ex- 
pression of  personal  sympathy  which  had  fallen  from  him. 
Worse  than  all,  this  King  George  III.  actually  deprived 
General  A'Court,  M.P.  for  Heytesbury,  of  his  commission 
as  colonel  of  the  llth  Dragoons,  for  having  voted  that  the 
arrest  of  Wilkes  was  a  breach  of  privilege.  He  also  caused 
it  to  be  intimated  to  General  Conway,  "  that  the  King  can- 
not trust  his  army  in  the  hands  of  a  man  who  votes  in  Par- 
liament against  him." 

The  House  of  Commons  ordered  the  North  Briton  to  be 


burned  by  the  common  hangman  ;  but  when  the  authorities 
attempted  to  carry  out  the  sentence,  the  people  assembled, 
rescued  the  number,  and  burned  instead  a  large  jack-boot, 
the  popular  hieroglyphic  for  the  unpopular  minister. 

Amongst  the  many  rhymed  squibs  the  following  is  worth 
repetition :  — 

"  Because  the  North  Briton  inflamed  the  whole  nation, 
To  flames  they  commit  it  to  show  detestation ; 
But  throughout  old  England  how  joy  would  have  spread, 
Had  the  real  North  Briton  been  burnt  in  its  stead !  " 

The  North  Briton  of  the  last  line  is,  of  course,  the  Scotch 
Earl  Bute. 

As  an  illustration  of  the  then  disgraceful  state  of  the 
English  law,  it  is  enougth  to  notice  that  Lord  Halifax, 
the  Secretary  of  State,  by  availing  himself  of  his 
privileges  as  a  peer,  managed  to  delay  John  Wilkes 
in  his  action  from  .June,  1763,  to  November,  1764 ; 
and  then,  Wilkes  having  been  outlawed,  the  noble 
Earl  appeared  and  pleaded  the  outlawry  as  a  bar  to  further 
proceedings.  Ultimately,  after  five  years'  delay,  "Wilkes 
annulled  the  outlawry,  and  recovered  £4,000  damages 
against  Lord  Halifax.  For  a  few  months  Wilkes  was  the 
popular  idol,  and,  had  he  been  a  man  of  real  earnestness  and 
integrity,  might  have  taken  a  permanently  leading  position 
in  the  State. 

In  August,  1763,  Frederick,  Duke  of  York,  was  born. 
He  was  created  Prince  Bishop  of  Osnaburg  before  he  could 
speak.  The  King  and  Queen  were  much  dissatisfied  be- 
cause the  clergy  of  the  diocese,  who  did  not  dispute  the 
baby  bishop's  ability  to  attend  to  the  souls  of  his  flock,  yet 
refused  to  entrust  to  him  the  irresponsible  guardianship  of 
the  episcopal  funds.  This  bishopric  had  actually  been  kept 
vacant  by  the  King  nearly  three  years,  in  order  that  he 


might  not  give  it  to  the  Duke  of  York  or  Duke  of  Cumber- 
land. The  income  was  about  £25,000  a  year,  and  it  was  to 
secure  this  Prince  Bishopric  for  the  Duke  of  Cumberland 
that  George  II.  burdened  the  country  with  several  subsidies 
to  petty  European  sovereigns. 

The  King's  sister,  Augusta,  was,  like  the  rest  of  the 
Brunswick  family,  on  extremely  bad  terms  with  her  mother, 
the  Princess  of  Wales.  The  Princess  Augusta  was  married 
on  January  16th,  1764,  to  the  hereditary  Prince  of  Bruns- 
wick, who  received  £80,000,  besides  £8,000  a  year  for 
becoming  the  husband  of  one  of  our  Royal  Family.  In 
addition  to  this,  George  III.  and  Queen  Charlotte  insulted 
the  newly-married  couple,  who  returned  the  insult  with 
interest.  Pleasant  people,  these  Brunswicks  ! 

In  March,  1764,  the  first  steps  were  taken  in  the  en- 
deavor to  impose  taxes  on  the  American  colonies,  an 
endeavor  which  at  length  resulted  in  their  famous  rebellion. 
The  commanders  of  our  ships  of  war  on  the  American  coast 
were  sworn  in  to  act  as  revenue  officers,  the  consequence  of 
which  was  the  frequently  illegal  seizures  of  ships  and  car- 
goes without  any  means  of  redress  for  the  Americans  in 
their  own  colony.  As  though  to  add  to  the  rising  disaflec- 
'tion,  Mr.  Grenville  proposed  a  new  stamp-tax.  As  soon 
as  the  Stamp  Act  reached  Boston,  the  ships  in  the  harbor 
hung  their  colors  half-mast  high,  the  bells  were  rung  muf- 
fled, the  Act  of  Parliament  was  reprinted  with  a  death's 
head  for  title,  and  sold  in  the  streets  as  the  "  Folly  of  Eng- 
land and  Ruin  of  America."  The  Americans  refused  to 
use  stamped  paper.  The  Government  distributors  of 
stamps  were  either  forced  to  return  to  England,  or  were 
obliged  to  renounce  publicly  and  upon  oath  their  official 
employment ;  and,  when  the  matter  was  again  brought  before 
the  English  House  of  Commons,  Pitt  denied  the  right  of 
Parliament  to  levy  taxation  on  persons  who  had  no  right 


to  representation,  and  exclaimed :  "  I  rejoice  that  America 
has  resisted ;  three  millions  of  people  so  dead  to  all  feel- 
ings of  liberty  as  voluntarily  to  submit  to  be  slaves,  would 
have  been  fit  instruments  to  make  slaves  of  all  the  rest." 
The  supporters  of  the  Government  actually  advanced  the 
ridiculously  absurd  and  most  monstrous  pretension  that 
America  was  in  law  represented  in  Parliament  as  part  of 
the  manor  of  East  Greenwich. 

The  Earl  of  Abercorn  and  Lord  Harcourt  appear  to  have 
been  consulted  by  the  Queen  as  to  the  effect  of  the  previ- 
ous marriage  of  George  III.  with  Hannah  Lightfoot,  who 
seems  to  have  been  got  rid  of  by  some  arrangement  for  a 
second  marriage  between  her  and  a  Mr.  Axford,  to  whom 
a  sum  of  money  was  paid.  It  is  alleged  that  this  was  done 
without  the  knowledge  of  the  King,  who  entreated  Lord 
Chatham  to  discover  where  the  Quakeress  had  gone.  No 
fresh  communication,  however,  took  place  between  George 
III.  and  Hannah  Lightfoot ;  and  the  King's  first  attack  of 
insanity,  which  took  place  in  1764,  is  strongly  suggested  to 
have  followed  the  more  than  doubts  as  to  the  legality  of 
the  second  marriage  and  the  legitimacy  of  the  Royal  Fam- 
ily. Hannah  Lightfoot  died  in  the  winter  of  1764,  and  in 
the  early  part  of  the  year  1765,  the  King  being  then  scarcely 
sane,  a  second  ceremony  of  marriage  with  the  Queen  was 
privately  performed  by  the  Rev.  Dr.  Wilmot  at  Kew  palace. 
Hannah  Lightfoot  left  children  by  George  III.,  but  of  these 
nothing  is  known. 

In  the  winter  of  1764,  and  spring  of  1765,  George  III. 
was,  in  diplomatic  language,  laboring  under  an  indisposi- 
tion ;  in  truth,  he  was  mad.  Her  present  Gracious  Majesty 
often  labors  under  an  indisposition,  but  no  loyal  subject 
would  suggest  any  sort  of  doubt  as  to  her  mental  condi- 
tion. A  Bill  was  introduced  in  1764  in  the  House  of  Lords, 
to  provide  for  a  Regency  in  case  of  the  recurrence  of  any 


similar  attack.  In  the  discussion  on  this  Bill,  a  doubt 
arose  as  to  who  were  to  be  regarded  as  the  Royal  Family ; 
fortunately,  the  Law  Lords  limited  it  to  the  descendants  of 
George  II.  If  a  similar  definition  prevailed  to-day,  we 
should,  perhaps,  not  be  obliged  to  pay  the  pensions  to  the 
Duke  of  Cambridge  and  Princess  Mary,  which  they  at  pres 
ent  receive  as  members  of  the  Royal  Family. 

On  the  80th  of  October,  1765,  William,  Duke  of  Cumber- 
land, the  King's  uncle,  died.  Dr.  Doran  says  of  him : 
"  As  he  grew  in  manhood,  his  heart  became  hardened  ;  he 
had  no  affection  for  his  family,  nor  fondness  for  the  army, 
for  whichhe  affected  attachment.  When  his  brother  (Prince 
Frederick)  died,  pleasure,  not  pain,  made  his  heart  throb, 
as  he  sarcastically  exclaimed,  '  It's  a  great  blow  to  the 
country,  but  I  hope  it  \nll  recover  in  time.'  He  was  the 
author  of  what  was  called  '  the  bloody  mutiny  act.'  '  He 
was  dissolute  and  a  gambler.'  After  the  '  dis  -rrceful  sur- 
render of  Hanover  and  the  infamous  convention  of  Klostcr- 
seven,'  his  father  George  II.  said  of  him,  '  Behold  the  son 
who  has  ruined  me,  and  disgraced  himself.'"  His  own 
nephew,  George  III.,  believed  the  Duke  to  be  capable  of 
murder.  The  Dukes  of  Cumberland  in  this  Brunswick 
family  have  had  a  most  unfortunate  reputation. 

In  1766,  William  Henry,  Duke  of  Gloucester,  brother  of 
the  King,  married  Maria,  Countess-Dowager  of  Walde- 
grave.  This  marriage  was  at  the  time  repudiated  by  the 
rest  of  the  Roj^al  Family. 

In  October  of  the  same  year  Caroline  Matilda,  the  King's 
sister,  married  Christian,  King  of  Denmark,  an  unfeeling, 
dissolute  brute.  Our  Princess,  who  lived  very  unhappily, 
was  afterwards  accused  of  adultery,  and  rescued  from  pun- 
ishment by  a  British  man-of-war. 

In  the  autumn  of  1766,  in  consequence  of  the  high  price 
of  provisions  and  taxes,  large  gatherings  took  place  in 


many  parts  of  the  kingdom ;  these  assemblages  were  dis- 
persed with  considerable  loss  of  life,  of  course  by  the  mili- 
tary, which  the  House  of  Brunswick  was  not  slow  to  use  in 
checking  political  manifestations.  At  Derby  the  people 
were  charged  by  the  cavalvy,  at  Colton  eight  were  shot 
dead,  in  Gloucestershire  many  lives  were  lost ;  in  fact,  from 
Exeter  to  Berwiqk-on-Tweed  there  was  one  ferment  of  dis- 
content and  disaffection.  The  people  were  heavily  taxed, 
the  aristocracy  corrupt  and  careless.  As  an  instance  of 
the  madness  of  the  governing  classes,  it  is  sufficient  to 
point  out  that  in  1767,  while  taxation  was  increasing,  the 
landed  gentry,  who  were  rapidly  appropriating  common 
lands  under  Private  Enclosure  Acts,  most  audaciously 
reduced  the  land  tax  by  one-fourth.  During  the  first  thirty- 
seven  years  of  the  reign  of  George  III.,  there  were  no  less 
than  1,532  Enclosure  Acts  passed,  affecting  in  all  2,804,197 
acres  of  land  filched  from  the  nation  by  a  "few  families. 
Wealth  took  and  poverty  lost ;  riches  got  land  without 
burden,  and  labor  inherited  burden  in  lieu  of  land.  It  is 
worth  notice  that  in  the  early  part  of  the  reign  of  George 
III.,  land  yielding  about  a  sixth  or  seventh  of  its  present 
rental,  paid  the  same  nominal  tax  that  it  does  to-day,  the 
actual  amount  paid  at  the  present  time  being  however 
smaller  through  redemption  ;  and  yet  then  the  annual  inter- 
est on  the  National  Debt  was  under  £4,500,000,  while  to-day 
it  is  over  £26,000,000.  Then  the  King's  Civil  List  covered 
all  the  expenses  of  our  State  ministers  and  diplomatic  rep- 
resentatives ;  to-day,  an  enormous  additional  sum  is  re- 
quired, and  a  Prime  Minister  professing  economy,  and  well 
versed  in  history,  has  actually  the  audacity  to  pretend  that 
the  country  gains  by  its  present  Civil  List  arrangement. 

In  1769  George  III.  announced  to  his  faithful  Commons 
he  owed  half  a  million.  John  Wilkes  and  a  few  others 
protested,  but  the  money  was  voted. 


Iii  1770  King  G-eorge  III.  succeeded  in  making  several' 
buttons  at  Kew,  and  as  this  is,  as  far  as  I  am  aware,  the 
most  useful  work  of  his  life,  I  desire  to  give  it  full  promi- 
nence. His  son,  afterwards  George  IV.,  made  a  shoebuckle. 
No  other  useful  product  has  resulted  directly  from  the  efforts 
of  any  male  of  the  family. 

In  1770  Henry,  Duke  of  Cumberland,  the  King's  brother, 
was  sued  by  Lord  Grosvenor  for  crim.  con.,  and  had  to  pay 
£10,000  damages.  This  same  Henry,  in  the  following  year, 
went  through  the  form  of  marriage  with  a  Mrs.  Horton, 
which  marriage,  being  repudiated  by  the  Court,  troubled 
him  but  little,  and  in  the  lifetime  of  the  lady  contracted  a 
second  alliance,  which  gave  rise  to  the  famous  Olivia  Serres 
legitimacy  issue. 

The  Royal  Marriage  Act,  a  most  infamous  measure  for 
ensuring  the  perpetuation  of  vice,  and  said  to  be  the  result 
of  the  Lightfoot  experience,  was  introduced  to  Parliament 
by  a  message  from  George  III.,  on  the  20th  February, 
1772,  twelve  days  after  the  death  of  the  Princess-Dowager, 
of  "Wales.  George  III.  wrote  to  Lord  North  on  the  26th 
February :  "  I  expect  every  nerve  to  be  strained  to  carry 
the  Bill.  It  is  not  a  question  relating  to  the  Administra- 
tion, but  personally  to  myself,  therefore  I  have  a  right  to 
expect  a  hearty  support  from  every  one  in  my  service,  and 
I  shall  remember  defaulters." 

In  May,  1773,  the  East  India  Company,  having  to  come 
before  Parliament  for  borrowing  powers,  a  select  committee 
was  appointed,  whose  inquiries  laid  open  cases  of  rapacity 
and  treachery  involving  the  highest  personages,  and  a  res- 
olution was  carried  in  the  House  of  Commons  affirming  that 
Lord  Clive  had  dishonorably  possessed  himself  of  £234,000 
at  the  time  of  the  deposition  of  Surajah  Dowlah,  and  the 
establishment  of  Meer  Jaffier.  Besides  this,  it  was  proved 
that  Lord  Clive  received  several  other  large  sums  in  sue- 


ceeding  years.  Phillimore  describes  this  transaction,  in 
terrific  language,  as  one  of  "  disgusting  and  sordid  turpi- 
tude," declaring  that  "  individual  members  of  the  English 
Government  were  to  be  paid  for  their  treachery  by  a  hire, 
the  amount  of  which  is  almost  incredible."  A  few  years 
after  this  exposure,  Lord  Clive  committed  suicide. 

On  the  18th  of  December,  1773,  the  celebrated  cargoes  of 
tea  were  thrown  over  in  Boston  Harbor.  The  tea  duty  was 
a  trifling  one,  but  was  unfortunately  insisted  upon  by  the 
King's  Government  as  an  assertion  of  the  right  of  the  Brit- 
ish Parliament  to  tax  the  unrepresented  American  colonies, 
a  right  the  colonists  strenuously  and  successfully  denied. 

The  news  of  the  firm  attitude  of  the  Bay  State  colonists 
arrived  in  England  early  in  March,  1774,  and  Lord  North's 
Government,  urged  by  the  King,  first  deprived  Boston  of 
her  privileges  as  a  port;  secondly,  took  away  from  the 
State  of  Massachusetts  the  whole  of  the  executive  powers 
granted  by  the  charter  of  "William  III.,  and  vested  the  nom- 
ination of  magistrates  of  every  kind  in  the  King,  or  royally- 
appointed  Governor ;  and  thirdly,  carried  an  enactment 
authorizing  persons  accused  of  political  offences  committed 
in  Boston  to  be  sent  home  to  England  to  be  tried. 

These  monstrous  statutes  provoked  the  most  decided 
resistance ;  all  the  other  American  colonists  joined  with 
Boston,  and  a  solemn  league  and  covenant  was  entered  into 
for  suspending  all  commercial  incercourse  with  Great  Brit- 
ain until  the  obnoxious  acts  were  repealed.  On  the  5th  of 
Sept.,  1774,  a  congress  of  fifty-one  representatives  from 
twelve  old  colonies  assembled  in  Philadelphia.  The  instruc- 
tions given  to  them  disclaimed  every  idea  of  independence, 
recognized  the  constitutional  authority  of  the  mother  coun- 
try, and  acknowledged  the  prerogatives  of  the  crown ;  but 
unanimously  declared  that  they  would  never  give  up  the 
rights  and  liberties  derived  to  them  from  their  ancestors  as 


British  subjects,  and  pronounced  the  late  acts  relative  to  the 
colony  of  Massachusetts  Bay  to  be  unconstitutional,  oppres- 
sive and  dangerous.  The  first  public  act  of  the  congress 
•was  a  resolution  declarative  of  their  favorable  disposition 
towards  the  colony  above  mentioned ;  and,  by  subsequent 
resolutions,  they  formally  approved  the  opposition  it  had 
given  to  the  obnoxious  acts,  and.  declared  that,  if  an  attempt 
were  made  to  carry  them  into  execution  by  force,  the  colony 
should  be  supported  by  all  America. 

The  following  extract  is  from  the  "  Address  of  the  Twelve 
United  Provinces  to  the  Inhabitants  of  Great  Britain," 
when  force  was  actually  used :  —  "  We  can  retire  beyond 
the  reach  of  your  navy,  and,  without  any  sensible  diminu- 
tion of  the  necessaries  of  life,  enjoy  a  luxury,  which  from 
that  period  you  will  want  —  the  luxury  of  being  free" 

On  the  16th  of  November,  1775,  Edmund  Burke  proposed 
the  renunciation  on  the  part  of  Great  Britain  of  the  exer- 
cise of  taxation  in  America,  the  repeal  of  the  obnoxious 
duty  on  tea,  and  a  general  pardon  for  past  political  offenders. 
This  was  directly  opposed  by  the  King,  who  had  lists 
brought  to  him  of  how  the  members  spoke  and  voted,  and 
was  negatived  in  the  House  of  Commons  by  210  votes 
against  105.  On  the  20th  November,  after  consultation 
with  George  HE.,  Lord  North  introduced  a  Bill  by  which  all 
trade  and  commerce  with  the  thirteen  United  colonies 
were  interdicted.  It  authorized  the  seizure,  whether  in 
harbor  or  on  the  high  seas,  of  all  vessels  laden  with  Ameri- 
can property,  and  by  a  cruel  stretch  of  refined  tyranny  it 
rendered  all  persons  taken  on  board  American  vessels 
liable  to  be  entered  as  sailors  on  board  British  ships  of 
war,  and  to  serve  (if  required)  against  their  own  coun- 
trymen. About  the  same  time,  as  we  learn  by  a  "  secret " 
dispatch  from  Lord  Dartmouth  to  General  Howe,  the  King 
had  been  unmanly  enough  to  apply  to  the  Czarina  of  Rus- 


sia  for  the  loan  of  20,000  Russian  soldiers  to  enable  hirn  to 
crush  his  English  subjects  in  the  American  colonies.  As 
yet  the  Americans  had  made  no  claim  for  independence. 
They  were  only  petitioners  for  justice. 

In  order  to  crush  out  the  spirit  of  liberty  in  the  American 
colonies,  the  Government  of  George  III.,  in  February, 
1776,  hired  17,000  men  from  the  Landgrave  and  Heredi- 
tary Prince  of  Hesse  Cassel,  and  from  the  Duke  of  Bruns- 
wick. Besides  these,  there  were  levies  of  troops  out  of 
George  III.'s  Hanoverian  dominions,  and  that  nothing 
might  be  wanting  to  our  glory,  the  King's  agents  stirred 
up  the  Cherokee  and  Creek  Indians  to  scalp,  ravish,  and 
plunder  the  disaffected  colonists.  Jesse  -says  :  "  The  newly 
arrived  troops  comprised  several  thousand  kidnapped  Ger- 
man soldiers,  whom  the  cupidity  of  the  Duke  of  Brunswick, 
of  the  Landgrave  of  Hesse  Cassel,  and  other  German 
Princes,  had  induced  to  let  out  for  hire  to  the  British 
Government.  .  .  .  Frederick  of  Prussia  not  only  denounced 
the  traffic  as  a  most  scandalous  one,  but  wherever,  it  is 
said,  the  unfortunate  hirelings  had  occasion  to  march 
through  any  part  of  his  dominions,  used  to  levy  a  toll  upon 
them,  as  if  they  had  been  so  many  head  of  bullocks.  .  .  . 
Thej7  had  been  sold,  he  said,  as  cattle,  and  therefore  he 
was  entitled  to  exact  the  toll." 

The  consequence  of  all  this  was,  on  the  4th  of  July,  1776, 
the  famous  declaration  of  the  American  Congress.  "  The 
history  of  the  reigning  sovereign,  they  said,  was  a  history 
of  repeated  injuries  and  usurpations.  So  evidently  was  it 
his  intention  to  establish  an  absolute  despotism,  that  it  had 
become  their  duty,  as  well  as  their  right,  to  secure  them- 
selves against  further  aggressions.  ...  In  every  stage  of 
these  oppressions,"  proceeds  the  Declaration,  "  we  have 
petitioned  for  redress  in  the  most  humble  terms.  Our 
petitions  have  been  answered  only  by  repeated  injuries. 


A  Prince,  whose  character  is  thus  marked  by  every  act 
which  may  define  a  tyrant,  is  unfit  to  be  the  ruler  of  a  free 
people."  And  the  United  Colonies  solemnly  declare  them- 
selves to  be  "  free  and  independent  States." 

In  1777,  during  this  American  war,  Earl  Chatham,  in 
one  of  his  grand  speeches,  after  denouncing  "  the  traffic 
and  barter  driven  with  every  little  pitiful  G'erman  Prince 
that  sells  his  subjects  to  the  shambles  of  a  foreign  country," 
adds :  "  The  mercenary  aid  on  which  you  rely,  irritates 
to  an  incurable  resentment  the  minds  of  your  enemies, 
whom  you  overrun  with  the  sordid  sons  of  rapine  and  of 
plunder,  devoting  them  and  their  possessions  to  the  rapac- 
ity of  hireling  cruelty !  If  I  were  an  American,  as  I  am  an 
Englishman,  while  a  foreign  troop  was  landed  in  my  coun- 
try, I  never  would  lay  down  my  arms,  never !  never !  never ! " 
In  reply  to  Lord  Suffolk,  who  had  said,  in  reference  to  em- 
ploying the  Indians,  that  "  we  were  justified  in  using  all 
the  means  which  God  and  nature  had  put  into  our  hands," 
"  I  am  astonished,"  exclaimed  Lord  Chatham,  as  he  rose, 
"  shocked,  to  hear  such  principles  confessed,  to  hear  them 
avowed  in  this  House,  or  in  this  country  ;  principles  equally 
unconstitutional,  inhuman,  and  un-Christian.  That  God 
and  Nature  put  into  our  hands  I  I  know  not  what  idea  that 
Lord  may  entertain  of  God  and  Nature,  but  I  know  that 
such  abominable  principles  are  equally  abhorrent  to  religion 
and  humanity.  What!  attribute  the  sacred  sanction  of 
God  and  nature  to  the  massacres  of  the  Indian  scalping- 
knife,  to  the  cannibal  savage,  torturing,  murdering,  roast- 
ing, and  eating ;  literally,  my  Lords,  eating  the  mangled 
victims  of  his  barbarous  battles  ! " 

And  yet  even  after  this  we  find  George  ILL  writing  to 
Lord  North,  on  the  22d  of  June,  1779  :  "  I  do  not  yet 
despair  that,  with  Clinton's  activity,  and  the  Indians  in 
their  rear,  the  provinces  will  soon  now  submit." 


Actually'  so  late  as  the  27th  of  November,  1781,  after  the 
surrender  of  Cornwallis,  we  find  George  III.  saying  that 
"  retaining  a  firm  confidence  in  the  wisdom  and  protection 
of  Divine  Providence,"  he  should  be  able  "  by  the  valor  of 
his  fleets  and  armies  to  conquer  America."  Fox,  in  the 
House  of  Commons,  denounced  this  speech  of  the  King's  as 
one  "  breathing  vengeance,  blood,  misery,  and  rancor ;  " 
and  "  as  containing  the  sentiments  of  some  arbitrary, 
despotic,  hard-hearted,  and  unfeeling  monarch,  who,  having 
involved  his  subjects  in  a  ruinous  and  unnatural  war,  to 
glut  his  feelings  of  revenge,  was  determined  to  persevere 
in  it  in  spite  of  calamity."  "  Divest  the  speech,"  said  he, 
"of  its  official  forms,  and  what  was  its  purport?  'Our 
losses  in  America  have  been  most  calamitous ;  the  blood 
of  my  subjects  has  flowed  in  copious  streams  ;  the  treasures 
of  Great  Britain  have  been  wantonly  lavished ;  the  load  of 
taxes  imposed  on  an  over-burthened  country  is  become  in- 
tolerable ;  my  rage  for  conquest  is  unquenched  ;  my  revenge 
unsated ;  nor  can  anything  except  the  total  subjugation  of 
my  American  subjects  allay  my  animosity.' " 

The  following  table  shows  what  this  disastrous  war  ulti- 
mately cost  this  country  in  mere  money  ;  no  table  can  effi- 
ciently show  its  cost  in  blood  and  misery  :  — 

Tear.  Taxation.  Loans. 

1775  £10,138,061 

1776  10,265,405  £2,000,000 

1777  10,604,013  5,500,000 

1778  10,732,405  6,000,000 

1779  11,192,141  7,000,000 

1780  12,255,214  12,000,000 

1781  12,454,936  12,000,000 

1782  12,593,297  13,500,000 

1783  11,962,718  12,000,000 

1784  12,905,519  12,879,341 

1785  14,871,520  10,990,651 

Total  £129,975,229  £93,869,992 


The  American  war  terminated  in  1783  ;  but  as  the  loans 
of  the  two  following  years  were  raised  to  wind  up  the  ex- 
penses of  that  struggle,  it  is  proper  they  should  be  included. 
The  total  expense  of  the  American  war  will  stand  thus :  — 

Taxes  £129,975,229 

Loans  93,869,992 

Advances  by  the  Bank  of  England  110,000 

Advances  by  the  East  India  Company  3,200,000 

Increase  in  the  Unfunded  Debt  5,170,273 

Total  232,325,494 

Deduct  expense  of  a  peace  establishment 

for  eleven  years,  as  it  stood  in  1774  113,142,403 

Net  cost  of  the  American  war  £119,183,091 

In  addition  to  this  must  be  noted  £1,340,000  voted  as 
compensation  to  American  loyalists  in  1788,  and  £4,000  a 
year  pension  since,  and  even  now,  paid  to  the  descendants 
of  William  Penn,  amounting,  with  compound  interest,  to 
an  enormous  additional  sum,  even  to  the  present  date, 
without  reckoning  future  liability.  And  this  glorious  colony 
parted  from  us  in  blood  and  shame,  in  consequence  of  a 
vain  attempt  to  gratify  the  desire  of  the  House  of  Bruns- 
wick to  make  New  England  contribute  to  their  German 
greed  as  freely  and  as  servilely  as  Old  England  had  done. 

Encouraged  by  the  willingness  with  which  his  former 
debts  had  been  discharged,  George  III.,  in  1777,  sent  a 
second  message,  but  this  time  for  the  larger  sum  of  £600,- 
000,  which  was  not  only  paid,  but  an  additional  allowance 
of  £100,000  a  year  was  voted  to  his  Majesty,  and  £40,000 
was  given  to  the  Landgrave  of  Hesse. 

As  an  illustration  of  the  barbarity  of  our  laws,  it  is 
enough  to  say  that,  in  1777,  Sarah  Parker  was  burnt  for 
counterfeiting  silver  coin.  In  June,  1786,  Phoebe  Harris 
was  burnt  for  the  same -offence.  And  this  in  a  reign  when 


persons  in  high  position,  accused  of  murder,  forgery,  perjury, 
and  robbeiy,  escaped  almost  scot  free. 

In  April,  1778,  £60,000  a  year  was  settled  on  the  six 
younger  princes,  and  £30,000  a  year  on  the  five  princesses. 
These  pensions,  however,  were  professedly  paid  out  of  the 
King's  Civil  List,  not  avowedly  in  addition  to  it,  as  they 
are  to-day.  The  Duke  of  Buckingham  stated  that  in  1778, 
and  again  in  1782,  the  King  threatened  to  abdicate.  This 
threat,  which,  unfortunately,  was  never  carried  out,  arose 
from  the  King's  obstinate  persistence  in  the  worse  than 
insane  policy  against  the  American  colonies. 

In  December,  1779,  in  consequence  of  England  needing 
Irish  soldiers  to  make  war  on  America,  Ireland  was  gra- 
ciously permitted  to  export  Irish  woollen  manufactures. 
The  indulgences,  however,  to  Ireland  —  even  while  the 
Ministers  of  George  III.  were  trying  to  enlist  Irishmen  to 
kill  the  English,  Scotch,  and  Irish  in  America  —  were  made 
most  grudgingly.  Pious  Protestant  George  III.  would  not 
consent  that  any  Irish  Catholic  should  own  one  foot  of  free- 
hold land ;  and  Edmund  Burke,  in  a  letter  to -an  Irish  peer, 
says  that  it  was  "  pride,  arrogance,  and  a  spirit  of  domina- 
tion" which  kept  up  "  these  unjust  legal  disabilities." 

On  the  8th  February,  1780,  Sir  G.  Savile  presented  the 
famous  Yorkshire  petition,  signed  by  8,000  freeholders, 
praying  the  House  of  Commons  to  inquire  into  the  man- 
agement and  expenditure  of  public  money,  to  reduce  all 
exorbitant  emoluments,  and  to  abolish  all  sinecure  places 
and  unmerited  pensions.  Three  days  later,  Edmund  Burke 
proposed  a  reduction  of  the  national  taxation  (which  was 
then  only  a  sixth  part  of  its  amount  to-day) ,  and  a  dimi- 
nution of  the  power  of  the  Crown.  Burke  was  defeated, 
but  shortly  after,  on  the  motion  of  Mr.  Dunning,  the  House 
of  Commons  declared,  by  a  majority  of  18  against  the 


Government,  "  That  the  influence  of  the  Crown  has  in- 
creased, is  increasing,  and  ought  to  be  diminished." 

On  the  20th  March,  1782,  Lord  North,  in  consequence 
of  the  impossibility  of  subduing  the  American  colonies, 
determined  to  resign.  The  King  opposed  this  to  the  last, 
declaring  that  no  difficulties  should  induce  him  to  consent 
to  a  peace  acknowledging  the  Independence  of  America. 
" So  distressing,"  says  Jesse,  "was  the  conflict  which  pre- 
vailed in  the  mind  of  George  III.,  that  he  not  only  contem- 
plated abandoning  the  Crown  of  England  for  the  Electorate 
of  Hanover,  but  orders  had  actually  been  issued  to  have 
the  royal  yacht  in  readiness  for  his  flight."  What  a  bless- 
ing to  the  country  if  he  had  really  persevered  in  his  reso- 
lution ! 

Charles  James  Fox,  who  now  came  into  power  for  a  brief 
space,  had,  says  Jesse,  "  taught  himself  to  look  upon  his 
sovereign  as  a  mere  dull,  obstinate,  half-crazed,  and  narrow- 
minded  bigot ;  a  Prince  whose  shallow  understanding  had 
never  been  improved  by  education,  whose  prejudices  it  was 
impossible  to  remove,  and  whose  resentments  it  would  be 
idle  to  endeavor  to  soften." 

In  1784,  George,  Prince  of  Wales,  was  over  head  and  ears 
in  debt,  and  the  King,  who  appears  to  have  hated  him,  re- 
fusing any  aid,  he  resorted  to  threats.  Dr.  Doran  says : 
"  A  conversation  is  spoken  of  as  having  passed  between  the 
Queen  and  the  Minister,  in  which  he  is  reported  as  having 
said,  '  I  much  fear,  }Tour  Majesty,  that  the  Prince,  in  his 
wild  moments,  may  allow  expressions  to  escape  him  that 
may  be  injurious  to  the  Crown. '  — '  There  is  little  fear  of 
that,'  was  the  alleged  reply  of  the  Queen  ;  '  he  is  too  well 
aware  of  the  consequences  of  such  a  course  of  conduct  to 
himself.  As  regards  that  point,  therefore,  I  can  rely  upon 
him.' " 
Jesse  says  of  the  Prince  of  Wales,  that  between  eighteen 


and  twenty,  "  to  be  carried  home  drunk,  or  to  be  taken  into 
custody  by  the  watch,  were  apparently  nounfrequent  episodes 
in  the  career  of  the  Heir  to  the  Throne .  Under  the  auspices  of 
his  weak  and  frivolous  uncle,  the  Duke  of  Cumberland,  the 
Prince's  conversation  is  said  to  have  been  a  compound  of 
the  slang  of  grooms  and  the  wanton  vocabulary  of  a  brothel." 
"When  we  hunt  together,"  said  the  King  to  the  Duke  of 
Gloucester,  "  neither  my  son  nor  my  brother  speak  to  me ; 
and  lately,  when  the  chase  ended  at  a  little  village  where 
there  was  but  a  single  post-chaise  to  be  hired,  my  son  and 
brother  got  into  it,  and  drove  off,  leaving  me  to  go  home  in 
a  cart,  if  I  could  find  one."  And  this  is  the  family  Mr. 
Disraeli  holds  up  for  Englishmen  to  worship  ! 

In  July,  1782,  Lord  Shelburne  came  into  office;  but  he 
"  always  complained  that  the  King  had  tricked  and  deserted 
him,"  and  had  "  secretly  connived  at  his  downfall."  He 
resigned  office  on  the  24th  February,  1783.  An  attempt 
was  made  to  form  a  Coalition  Ministry,  under  the  Duke  of 
Portland.  The  King  complained  of  being  treated  with  per- 
sonal incivility,  and  the  attempt  failed.  On  the  23d 
March,  the  Prince  of  Wales,  at  the  Queen's  Drawing-room, 
said:  "  The  King  had  refused  to  accept  the  coalition,  but 
by  God  he  should  be  made  to  agree  to  it."  Under  the 
great  excitement  the  King's  health  gave  way.  The  Prince, 
says  Jesse,  was  a  member  of  Brooks's  Club,  where,  as  Wai- 
pole  tells  us,  the  members  were  not  only  "  strangely  licen- 
tious "  in  their  talk  about  their  sovereign,  but  in  their  zeal 
for  the  interests  of  the  heartless  young  Prince  "even 
Wagered  on  the  duration  of  the  King's  reign."  The  King 
repeated  his  threat  of  abandoning  the  Throne,  and  retiring 
to  his  Hanoverian  dominions  ;  and  told  the  Lord- Advocate, 
Dundas,  that  he  had  obtained  the  consent  of  the  Queen  to 
his  taking  this  extraordinary  step.  Young  William  Pitt 
refusing  twice  to  accept  the  Premiership,  Fox  and  Lord 


North  came  again  into  power.  £30,000  was  voted  for  the 
Prince  of  Wales's  debts,  and  a  similar  sum  to  enable  him 
to  furnish  his  house.  The  "  unnatural "  Coalition  Ministry 
did  not  last  long.  Fox  introduced  his  famous  India  Bill. 
The  King,  regarding  it  as  a  blow  at  the  power  of  the  Crown, 
caballed  and  canvassed  the  Peers  against  it.  "  The  welfare 
of  thirty  millions  of  people  was  overlooked  in  the  excite- 
ment produced  by  selfish  interests,  by  party  zeal,  and 
officious  loyalty."  "  Instantly,"  writes  Lord  Macaulay,  "  a 
troop  of  Lords  of  the  Bedchamber,  of  Bishops  who  wished 
to  be  translated,  and  of  Scotch  peers  who  wished  to  be  re- 
elected,  made  haste  to  change  sides."  The  Bill  had  passed 
the  Commons  by  large  majorities.  The  King  opposed  it 
like  a  partisan,  and  when  it  was  defeated  in  the  Lords, 
cried,  "  Thank  God !  it  is  all  over ;  the  House  has  thrown 
out  the  Bill,  so  there  is  an  end  of  Mr.  Fox."  The  Ministers 
not  resigning,  as  the  King  expected  they  would,  his  Maj- 
esty dismissed  them  at  once,  sending  to  Lord  North  in  the 
middle  of  the  night  for  his  seals  of  office. 

On  the  19th  December,  1783,  William  Pitt,  then  twenty- 
four  years  of  age,  became  Prime  Minister  of  England.  The 
House  of  Commons  passed  a  resolution,  on  the  motion  of 
Lord  Surrej^,  remonstrating  with  the  King  for  having  per- 
mitted his  sacred  name  to  be  unconstitutionally  used  in 
order  to  influence  the  deliberations  of  Parliament.  More 
than  once  the  Commons  petitioned  the  King  to  dismiss  Pitt 
from  office.  Pitt,  with  large  majorities  against  him,  wished 
to  resign  ;  but  George  III.  said,  "  If  you  resign,  Mr.  Pitt,  I 
must  resign  too,"  and  he  again  threatened,  in  the  event  of 
defeat,  to  abandon  England,  and  retire  to  his  Hanoverian 
dominions.  Now  our  monarch,  if  a  king,  would,  have  no 
Hanoverian  dominions  to  retire  to. 

In  1784,  £60,000  was  voted  by  Parliament  to  defray  the 
King's  debts.  In  consequence  of  the  large  debts  of  the 


Prince  of  "Wales,  an  interview  was  arranged  at  Carlton 
House,  on  the  27th  April,  1785,  between  the  Prince  and 
Lord  Malmesbury.  The  King,  the  Prince  said,  had  desired 
him  to  send  in  an  exact  statement  of  his  debts ;  there  was 
one  item,  however,  of  £25,000,  on  which  the  Prince  of 
Wales  would  give  no  information.  If  it  were  a  debt,  argued 
the  King,  which  his  son  was  ashamed  to  explain,  it  was  one 
which  he  ought  not  to  defray.  The  Prince  threatened  to 
go  abroad,  saying,  "  I  am  ruined  if  I  stay  in  England.  I 
shall  disgrace  myself  as  a  man ;  my  father  hates  me,  and 
has  hated  me  since  I  was  seven  years  old.  .  .  .  We  are  too 
wide  asunder  to  ever  meet.  The  King  has  deceived  me ; 
he  has  made  me  deceive  others.  I  cannot  trust  him,  and  he 
will  not  believe  me."  And  this  is  the  Brunswick  family  to 
which  the  English  nation  are  required  to  be  blindly  loyal ! 

In  1785,  George,  Prince  of  Wales,  was  married  to  a 
Roman  Catholic  lady,  Mrs.  Fitzherbert,  a  widow.  It  is  of 
course  known  that  the  Prince  treated  the  lady  badly.  This 
was  not  his  first  experience,  the  history  of  Mary  Robinson 
forming  but  one  amongst  a  long  list  of  shabby  liaisons,  A 
question  .having  arisen  before  the  House  of  Commons,  dur- 
ing a  discussion  on  the  debts  owing  by  the  Prince,  Charles 
James  Fox,  on  the  written  authority  of  the  Prince,  denied 
that  any  marriage,  regular  or  irregular,  had  ever  taken 
place,  and  termed  it  an  invention.  .  .  .  destitute  of  the 
slightest  foundation."  Mr.  Fox's  denial  was  made  on  the  dis- 
tinct written  authorit}-  of  the  Prince,  who  offered,  through 
Fox,  to  give  in  the  House -of  Lords  the  "fullest  assur- 
ances of  the  utter  falsehood "  of  the  allegation  ;  although 
not  only  does  everybod}7  know  to-day  that  the  denial  was 
untrue,  but  in  point  of  fact  the  fullest  proofs  of  the  denied 
marriage  exist  at  this  very  moment  in  the  custody  of  Messrs. 
Coutts,  the  bankers.  Out  of  all  the  Brunswicks  England 
has  been  cursed  with,  George  I.  is  the  only  one  against 


whom  there  is  no  charge  of  wanton  falsehood  to  his  minis- 
ters or  subjects,  and  it  is  fairly  probable  that  his  character 
for  such  truthfulness  was  preserved  by  his  utter  inability  to 
lie  in  our  language. 

Not  only  did  George,  Prince  of  Wales,  thus  deny  his 
marriage  with  Mrs.  Fitzherbert,  but  repeated  voluntarily 
the  denial  after  he  became  King  George  IV.  Despite  this 
denial,  the  King's  executors,  the  Duke  of  Wellington  and 
Sir  William  Knighton,  were  compelled  by  Mrs.  Fitzherbert 
to  admit  the  proofs.  The  marriage  took  place  on  the  21st 
December,  1785,  and  Mrs.  Fitzherbert  being  a  Roman 
Catholic,  the  legal  effect  was  to  bar  Prince  George  and  pre- 
vent him  ever  becoming  the  lawful  King  of  England.  The 
documents  above  referred  to  as  being  at  Coutts's  include  — 
1.  The  marriage  certificate.  2.  A  letter  written  by  the 
Prince  of  Wales  acknowledging  the  marriage.  3.  A  will, 
signed  by  him,  also  acknowledging  it,  and  other  documents. 
And  yet  George,  our  King,  whom  Mr.  Disraeli  praises,  au- 
thorized Charles  James  Fox  to  declare  the  rumor  of  his 
marriage  "  a  low,  malicious  falsehood  ;"  and  then  the  Prince 
•went  to  Mrs.  Fitzherbert,  and,  like  a  mean,  lying  hypocrite 
as  he  was,  said,  "  O  Maria,  only  conceive  what  Fox  did 
yesterday ;  he  went  down  to  the  House  and  denied  that  you 
and  I  were  man  and  wife." 

Although  when  George,  Prince  of  Wales,  had  attained  his 
majority,  he  had  an  allowance  of  £50,000  a  year,  £60,000 
to  furnish  Carlton  House,  and  an  additional  £40,000  for 
cash  to  start  with,  3^et  he  was  soon  after  deep  in  debt.  In 
1787,  £160,000  was  voted,  and  a  portion  of  the  Prince's 
debts  was  paid.  £20,000  further  was  added  as  a  vote  for 
Carlton  House.  Thackeray  satys :  "  Lovers  of  long  sums 
have  added  up  the  millions  and  millions  which  in  the  course 
of  his  brilliant  existence  this  single  Prince  consumed. 
Besides  his  income  of  £50,000,  £70,000,  £100,000,  £120,- 


000  a  year,  we  read  of  three  applications  to  Parliament ; 
debts  to  the  amount  of  £160,000,  of  £650,000,  besides 
mysterious  foreign  loans,  whereof  he  pocketed  the  proceeds. 
What  did  he  do  for  all  this  money  ?  Why  was  he  to  have 
it  ?  If  he  had  been  a  manufacturing  town,  or  a  populous 
rural  district,  or  an  army  of  five  thousand  men,  he  would 
not  have  cost  more.  He,  one  solitary  stout  man,  who  did 
not  toil,  nor  spin,  nor  fight  —  what  had  any  mortal  done 
that  he  should  be  pampered  so?" 

The  proposed  impeachment  of  Warren  Hastings,  which 
actually  commenced  on  February  13th,  1788,  and  which  did 
not  conclude  until  eight  years  afterwards,  excited  consider- 
able feeling,  it  being  roundly  alleged  that  Court  protection 
had  been  purchased  by  the  late  Governor-General  of  India, 
by  means  of  a  large  diamond  presented  to  the  King.  The 
following  rhymed  squib  tells  its  own  story.  It  was  sung 
about  the  streets  to  the  tune  of  "•  Deny  Down  " :  — 

"  I'll  sing  you  a  song  of  a  diamond  so  fine, 
That  soon  in  the  crown  of  the  monarch  will  shine ; 
Of  its  size  and  its  value  the  whole  country  rings, 
By  Hastings  bestowed  on  the  best  of  all  Kings. 

Derry  down,  &c. 

"  From  India  this  jewel  was  lately  brought  o'er, 
Though  sunk  in  the  sea,  it  was  found  on  the  shore, 
And  just  in  the  nick  to  St.  James's  it  got, 
Convey'd  in  a  bag  by  the  brave  Major  Scott. 

Derry  down,  &c. 

"Lord  Sydney  stepp'd  forth,  when  the  tidings  were  known  — 
It's  his  office  to  carry  such  news  to  the  throne ;  — 
Though  quite  out  of  breath,  to  the  closet  he  ran, 
And  stammer'd  with  joy  ere  his  tale  he  began. 

Derry  down,  &c. 

**  'Here's  a  jewel,  my  liege,  there's  none  such  in  the  land; 
Major  Scott,  with  three  bows,  put  it  into  my  hand : 


And  he  swore,  when  he  gave  it,  the  wise  ones  were  bit, 
For  it  never  was  shown  to  Dundas  or  to  Pitt.' 

Derry  down,  &c. 

s,'  cried  our  sovereign,  '  unpolished  and  rough, 
Give  him  a  Scotch  pebble,  it's  more  than  enough. 
And  jewels  to  Pitt,  Hastings  justly  refuses, 
For  he  has  already  more  gifts  than  he  uses. 

Derry  down,  &c. 

"  '  But  run,  Jenky,  run  !  '  adds  the  King  in  delight, 

*  Bring  the  Queen  and  Princesses  here  for  a  sight  ; 
They  never  would  pardon  the  negligence  shown, 

If  we  kept  from  their  knowledge  so  glorious  a  stone. 

Derry  down,  &c. 

"  '  But  guard  the  door,  Jenky,  no  credit  we'll  win, 
If  the  Prince  in  a  frolic  should  chance  to  step  in  : 
The  boy  to  such  secrets  of  State  we'll  ne'er  call, 
Let  him  wait  till  he  gets  our  crown,  income,  and  all.' 

Derry  down,  &c. 

"  In  the  Princesses  run,  and  surprised  cry,  '  O  la  1 
Tis  big  as  the  egg  of  a  pigeon,  papa  !  '  — 

*  And  a  pigeon  of  plumage  worth  plucking  is  he,' 
Replies  our  good  monarch,  '  who  sent  it  to  me.' 

Derry  down,  &c. 

"  Madame  Schwellenberg  peep'd  through  the  door  at  a  chink, 
And  tipp'd  on  the  diamond  a  sly  German  wink  ; 
As  much  as  to  say,  '  Can  we  ever  be  cruel 
To  him  who  has  sent  us  so  glorious  a  jewel?  ' 

Derry  down,  &c. 

"  Now  God  save  the  Queen  !  while  the  people  I  teach, 
How  the  King  may  grow  rich  while  the  Commons  impeach  ; 
Then  let  nabobs  go  plunder,  and  rob  as  they  will, 
And  throw  in  their  diamonds  as  grist  to  his  mill. 

Derry  down,  &c." 

It  was  believed  that  the  King  had  received  not  one  dia- 
mond, but  a  large  quantity,  and  that  they  were  to  be  the 


purchase-money  of  Hastings's  acquittal.  Caricatures  on  the 
subject  were  to  be  seen  in  the  window  of  every  print-shop. 
In  one  of  these  Hastings  was  represented  wheeling  away 
in  a  barrow  the  King,  with  his  crown  and  sceptre,  observing, 
"  What -a  man  buys,  he  may  sell ;  "  and,  in  another,  the 
King  was  exhibited  on  his  knees,  with  his  mouth  wide 
open,  and  Warren  Hastings  pitching  diamonds  into  it. 
Many  other  prints,  some  of  them  bearing  evidence  of  the 
style  of  the  best  caricaturists  of  the  day,  kept  up  the  agita- 
tion on  this  subject.  It  happened  that  there  was  a  quack 
in  the  town,  who  pretended  to  eat  stones,  and  bills  of  his 
exhibition  were  placarded  on  the  walls,  headed,  in  large 
letters,  "  The  great  stone-eater !  "  The  caricaturists  took 
the  hint,  and  drew  the  King  with  a  diamond  between 
his  teeth,  and  a  heap  of  others  before  him,  with  the  inscrip- 
tion, "  The  greatest  stone-eater ! " 

We  borrow  a  few  sentences  from  Lord  Macaulay  to 
enable  our  readers  to  judge,  in  brief  space,  the  nature  of 
Warren  Hastings's  position,  standing  impeached,  as  he  did, 
on  a  long  string  of  charges,  some  of  them  most  terrible  in 
their  implication  of  violence,  falsehood,  fraud,  and  rapacity. 
Macaulay  thus  pictures  the  situation  between  the  civilized 
Christian  and  his  tributaries :  "  On  one  side  was  a  band 
of  English  functionaries,  daring,  intelligent,  eager  to  be 
rich.  On  the  other  side  was  a  great  native  population, 
helpless,  timid,  and  accustomed  to  crouch  under  oppression." 
When  some  new  act  of  rapacity  was  resisted  there  came 
war ;  but  "  a  war  of  Bengalees  against  Englishmen  was 
like  a  war  of  sheep  against  wolves,  of  men  against  demons." 
There  was  a  long  period  before  any  one  dreamed  that  jus- 
tice and  morality  should  be  features  of  English  rule  in 
India.  "  During  the  interval,  the  business  of  a  servant  of 
the  Company  was  simply  to  wring  out  of  the  natives  a  hun- 
dred or  two  hundred  thousand  pounds  as  speedily  as  pos- 


sible,  that  he  might  return  home  before  his  constitution 
bad  suffered  from  the  heat,  to  marry  a  peer's  daughter,  to 
buy  rotten  boroughs  in  Cornwall,  and  to  give  balls  in  St. 
James's  Square."  Hastings  was  compelled  to  turn  his 
attention  to  foreign  affairs.  The  object  of  his  diplomacy 
was  at  this  time  simply  to  get  money.  The  finances  of  his 
government  were  in  an  embarrassed  state,  and  this  embar- 
rassment he  was  determined  to  relieve  by  some  means, 
fair  or  foul.  The  principle  which  directed  all  his  dealings 
with  his  neighbors  is  fully  expressed  by  the  old  motto  of 
one  of  the  great  predatory  families  of  Teviotdale :  "  Thou 
shalt  want  ere  I  want."  He  seems  to  have  laid  it  down, 
as  a  fundamental  proposition  which  could  not  be  disputed, 
that,  when  he  had  not  as  many  lacs  of  rupees  as  the  public 
service  required,  he  was  to  take  them  from  anybody  who 
had.  One  thing,  indeed,  is  to  be  said  in  excuse  for  him. 
The  pressure  applied  to  him  by  his  employers  at  home  was 
such  as  only  the  highest  virtue  could  have  withstood,  such, 
as  left  him  no  choice  except  to  commit  great  wrongs,  or  to 
resign  his  high  post,  and  with  that  post  all  his  hopes  of 
fortune  and  distinction .  Hastings  was  in  need  of  funds  to 
carry  on  the  government  of  Bengal,  and  to  send  remit- 
tances to  London ;  and  Sujah  Dowlah  had  an  ample  reve- 
nue. Sujah  Dowlah  was  bent  on  subjugating  the  Rohillas  ; 
and  Hastings  had  at  his  disposal  the  only  force  by  which 
the  Rohillas  could  be  subjugated.  It  was  agreed  that  an 
English  army  should  be  lent  to  Nabob  Vizier,  and  that  for 
the  loan  he  should  pay  four  hundred  thousand  pounds  ster- 
ling, besides  defraying  all  the  charge  of  the  troops  while 
employed  in  his  service.  "  I  really  cannot  see,"  says  Mr. 
Gleig,  "  upon  what  grounds,  either  of  political  or  moral 
justice,  this  proposition  deserves  to  be  stigmatized  as  infa- 
mous." If  we  understand  the  meaning  of  words,  it  is 
infamous  to  commit  a  wicked  action  for  hire,  and  it  is 


wicked  to  engage  in  war  without  provocation.  In  this 
particular  war,  scarcely  one  aggravating  circumstance  was 
wanting.  The  object  of  the  Rohilla  war  was  this,  to  de- 
prive a  large  population,  who  had  never  done  us  the  least 
harm,  of  a  good  government,  and  to  place  them,  against 
their  will,  under  an  execrably  bad  one.  .  .  .  The  horrors 
of  Indian  war  were  let  loose  on  the  fair  valleys  and  cities 
of  Rohilcund.  The  whole  country  was  in  a  blaze.  More 
than  a  hundred  thousand  people  fled  from  their  homes  to 
pestilential  jungles,  preferring  famine,  and  fever,  and  the 
"haunts  of  tigers,  to  the  tyranny  of  him  to  whom  an  English 
and  a  Christian  government  had,  for  shameful  lucre,  sold 
their  substance,  and  their  blood,  and  the  honor  of  their 
wives  and  daughters.  .  .  .  Mr.  Hastings  had  only  to  put 
down  by  main  force  the  brave  struggles  of  innocent  men 
fighting  for  their  liberty.  Their  military  resistance 
crushed,  his  duties  ended ;  and  he  had  then  only  to  fold 
his  arms  and  look  on,  while  their  villages  were  burned, 
their  children  butchered,  and  their  women  violated.  .  .  . 
We  hasten  to  the  end  of  this  sad  and  disgraceful  story. 
The  war  ceased.  The  finest  population  in  India  was  sub- 
jected to  a  greedy,  cowardty,  cruel  tyrant.  Commerce  and 
agriculture  languished.  The  rich  province  which  had  tempt- 
ed the  cupidity  of  Sujah  Dowlah  became  the  most  miserable 
part  even  of  his  miserable  dominions.  Yet  is  the  injured 
nation  not  extinct.  At  long  intervals  gleams  of  its  ancient 
spirit  have  flashed  forth ;  and  even  at  this  day  valor,  and  self- 
respect,  and  a  chivalrous  feeling  rare  among  Asiatics,  and  a 
bitter  remembrance  of  the  great  crime  of  England,  dis- 
tinguish that  noble  Afghan  race." 

Partly  in  consequence  of  the  proposed  legislation  by  Fox 
on  the  affairs  of  the  East  India  Company,  and  HJfcr'fly  frda| 
personal  antagonism,  members  of  the  Indian  C^^dpN&cts^ild^ 

to   GovernoisGeneral   Hastings  were   sent  fet  i<y  ?^naia.~ 

^-  .'•.*  JI   tjJ 
-<,--••'    *i 


Amongst  his  most  prominent  antagonists  was  Francis,  the 
reputed  author  of  Junius's  Letters.  It  was  to  Francis 
especially  that  the  Maharajah  Nuncomar  of  Bengal  ad- 
dressed himself.  "  He  put  into  the  hands  of  Francis,  with 
great  ceremony,  a  paper  containing  several  charges  of  the 
most  serious  description.  By  this  document  Hastings  was 
accused  of  putting  offices  up  to  sale,  and  of  receiving 
bribes  for  suffering  offenders  to  escape.  In  particular,  it 
was  alleged  that  Mahommed  Reza  Khan  had  been  dismissed 
with  impunity,  in  consideration  of  a  great  sum  paid  to  the 
Governor-General.  .  .  .  He  stated  that  Hastings  had  re- 
ceived a  large  sum  for  appointing  Rajah  Goordas  treasurer 
of  the  Nabob's  household,  and  for  committing  the  care  of 
his  Highness's  person  to  Munny  Begum.  He  put  in  a  let- 
ter purporting  to  bear  the  seal  of  the  Munn3r  Begum,  for 
the  purpose  of  establishing  the  truth  of  his  story." 

Much  evidence  was  taken  before  the  Indian  Council, 
where  there  was  considerable  conflict  between  the  friends 
and  enemies  of  Hastings.  "  The  majority,  however,  voted 
that  the  charge  was  made  out ;  that  Hastings  had  corruptly 
received  between  thirty  and  forty  thousand  pounds ;  and 
that  he  ought  to  be  compelled  to  refund." 

Now,  however,  comes  an  item  darker  and  more  disgrace- 
ful, if  possible  than  what  had  preceded. 

"  On  a  sudden,  Calcutta  was  astounded  by  the  news  that 
Nuncomar  had  been  taken  up  on  a  charge  of  felony,  com- 
mitted, and  thrown  into  the  common  jail.  The  crime  im- 
puted to  him  was,  that  six  years  before  he  had  forged  a 
bond.  The  ostensible  prosecutor  was  a  native.  But  it 
was  then,  and  still  is,  the  opinion  of  everybody,  idiots  and 
biographers  excepted,  that  Hastings  was  the  real  mover  in 
the  business."  The  Chief-Justice  Impey,  one  of  Hastings's 
creatures,  pushed  on  a  mock  trial ;  "  a  verdict  of  Guilty  was 
returned,  and  the  Chief-Justice  pronounced  sentence  of  death 

THE  HOUSE    OF  BRUXSiriCK.  85 

on  the  prisoner.  ...  Of  Impey's  conduct  it  is  impossible 
to  speak  too  severely.  He  acted  unjustly  in  refusing  to 
respite  Nuncomar.  No  rational  man  can  doubt  that  he 
took  this  course  in  order  to  gratify  the  Governor-General. 
If  we  had  ever  had  any  doubts  on  that  point,  they  would  have 
been  dispelled  by  a  letter  which  Mr.  Gleig  has  published. 
Hastings,  three  or  four  years  later,  described  Impey  as  the 
man  '  to  whose  support  he  was  at  one  time  indebted  for  the 
safety  of  his  fortune,  honor,  and  reputation.'  These  strong 
words  can  refer  only  to  the  case  of  Nuncomar ;  and  they 
must  mean  that  Impey  hanged  Nuncomar  in  order  to  sup- 
port Hastings.  It  is  therefore  our  deliberate  opinion  that 
Impey,  sitting  as  a  judge,  put  a  man  unjustly  to  death  in 
order  to  serve  a  political  purpose." 

Encouraged  by  success,  a  few  years  later,  Hastings,  upon 
the  most  unfair  pretext,  made  war  upon  and  plundered  the 
Eajah  of  Benares,  and  a  little  later  subjected  the  eunuchs 
of  the  Begums  of  Oude  to  physical  torture,  to  make  them 
confess  where  the  royal  treasure  was  hidden. 

It  is  evident  from  Miss  Burney's  diary  that  the  King  and 
Queen  warmly  championed  the  cause  of  Warren  Hastings, 
who,  after  a  wearisome  impeachment,  was  acquitted. 

In  1788,  the  King's  insanity  assumed  a  more  violent 
form  than  usual,  and  on  a  report  from  the  Privy  Council, 
the  subject  was  brought  before  Parliament.  In  the  Com- 
mons, Pitt  and  the  Tory  party  contended  that  the  right  of 
providing  for  the  government  of  the  country  in  cases  where 
the  monarch  was  unable  to  perform  bis  duties,  belonged  to 
the  nation  at  large,  to  be  exercised  by  its  representatives 
in  Parliament.  Fox  and  the  Whigs,  on  the  other  hand, 
maintained  that  the  Prince  of  Wales  possessed  the  inher- 
ent right  to  assume  the  government.  Pitt,  seizing  this 
argument  as  it  fell  from  Fox,  said,  at  the  moment,  to  the 


member  seated  nearest  to  him,  "  I'll  unwhig  the  gentleman 
for  the  rest  of  his  life." 

During  the  discussions  on  the  Regency  Bill,  Lord  Thur- 
low,  who  was  then  Lord  Chancellor,  acted  the  political  rat, 
and  coquetted  with  both  parties.  When  the  King's  recov- 
ery was  announced  by  the  royal  physicians,  Thurlow,  to 
cover  his  treachery,  made  an  extravagant  speech  in  defence 
of  Pitt's  views,  and  one  laudatory  of  the  King.  After 
enumerating  the  rewards  received  from  the  King,  he  said, 
"  and  if  I  forget  the  monarch  who  has  thus  befriended  me, 
may  my  great  Creator  forget  me."  John  Wilkcs,  who  was 
present  in  the  House  of  Lords,  said,  in  a  stage  aside,  audi- 
ble to  many  of  the  peers,  "  Forget  yon !  he  will  see  you 
damned  first."  Phillimore,  describing  Lord  Chancellor 
Thurlow,  says  that  he  —  "  either  from  an  instinctive  delight 
in  all  that  was  brutal "  (which  did  not  prevent  him  from 
being  a  gross  hypocrite),  "or  from  a  desire  to  please 
George  III.  —  supported  the  Slave  Trade,  and  the  horrors 
of  the  Middle  Passage,  with  the  uncompromising  ferocity 
of  a  Liverpool  merchant  or  a  Guinea  captain." 

It  appears  that  the  Prince  of  Wales  and  the  Duke  of 
York  exhibited  what  was  considered  somewhat  indecent 
eagerness  to  have  the  King  declared  irrecoverably  insane, 
and  on  more  than  one  occasion  the  Queen  refused  to  allow 
either  of  these  Royal  Princes  access  to  the  King's  person, 
on  the  ground  that  their  violent  conduct  retarded  his  recov- 
ery. The  Prince  of  Wales  and  Duke  of  York  protested  in 
writing  against  the  Queen's  hostility  to  them,  and  published 
the  protest.  Happy  family,  these  Brunswicks !  Dr.  Doran 
declares  :  "  There  was  assuredly  no  decency  in  the  conduct 
of  the  Heir-apparent,  or  of  his  next  brother.  They  were 
gaily  flying  from  club  to  club,  partjr  to  party,  and  did  not 
take  the  trouble  even  to  assume  the  sentiment  which  they 
could  not  feel.  *  Jf  we  were  together,'  says  Lord  Granville, 


in  a  letter  inserted  in  his  Memoirs,  '  I  would  tell  you  some 
particulars  of  the  Prince  of  Wales's  behavior  to  the  King 
and  Queen,  within  these  few  days,  that  would  make  your 
blood  run  cold.'  It  was  said  that  if  the  King  could  only 
recover  and  learn  what  had  been  said  and  done  during  his 
illness,  he  would  hear  enough  to  drive  him  again  into  insan- 
ity. The  conduct  of  his  eldest  sons  was  marked  by  its 
savage  inhumanity."  Jesse  says  :  "  The  fact  is  a  painful 
one  to  relate,  that  on  the  4th  December —  the  day  on  which 
Parliament  assembled,  and  when  the  King's  malady  was  at 
its  worst  —  the  graceless  youth  (the  Duke  of  York)  not 
only  held  a  meeting  of  the  opposition  at  his  own  house,  but 
afterwards  proceeded  to  the  House  of  Lords,  in  order  to 
hear  the  depositions  of  the  royal  physicians  read,  and  to 
listen  to  the  painful  details  of  his  father's  lunacy.  More- 
over the  same  evening  we  track  both  the  brothers  (the 
Prince  of  "Wales  and  the  Duke  of  York)  to  Brooks's,  where 
in  a  circle  of  boon  companions,  as  irreverent  as  themselves, 
they  are  said  to  have  been  in  the  habit  of  indulging  in  the 
most  shocking  indecencies,  of  which  the  King's  derange- 
ment was  the  topic.  On  such  occasions,  we  are  told,  not 
only  did  they  turn  their  parents  into  ridicule,  and  blab  the 
secrets  of  the  chamber  of  sickness  at  Windsor,  but  the 
Prince  even  went  to  such  unnatural  lengths  as  to  employ 
his  talents  for  mimicry,  in  which  he  was  surpassed  by  few 
of  his  contemporaries,  in  imitating  the  ravings  and  gestures 
of  his  stricken  father.  As  for  the  Duke  of  York,  we  are 
assured  that '  the  brutality  of  the  stupid  sot  disgusted  even 
the  most  profligate  of  his  associates.'"  Even  after  the 
King's  return  to  reason  had  been  vouched  by  the  physicians, 
William  Grenville,  writing  to  Lord  Buckingham,  says  that 
the  two  princes  "  amused  themselves  with  spreading  the 
report  that  the  King  was  still  out  of  his  mind."  When  the 
great  thanksgiving  for  the  King's  recovery  took  place  at 


Saint  Paul's,  the,  conduct  of  the  Prince  of  Wales  and  the 
Duke  of  York,  in  the  Cathedral  itself,  is  described  "  as 
having  been  in  the  highest  degree  irreverent,  if  not  inde- 
cent." Sir  William  Young  writes  to  Lord  Buckingham, 
"The  day  will  come  when  Englishmen  will  bring  these 
Princes  to  their  senses."  Alas  for  England,  the  day  has 
not  yet  come ! 

In  1789,  a  great  outcry  was  raised  against  the  Duke  of 
York  on  account  of  his  licentiousness.  In  1790,  the  printer 
of  the  Times  newspaper  was  fined  £100  for  libelling  the 
Prince  of  Wales,  and  a  second  £100  for  libelling  the  Duke 
of  York.  It  was  in  this  year  that  the  Prince  of  Wales,  and 
the  Dukes  of  York  and  Clarence,  issued  joint  and  several 
bonds  to  an  enormous  amount  —  it  is  said,  £1,000,000  ster- 
ling, and  bearing  6  per  cent,  interest.  These  bonds  were 
taken  up  chiefly  abroad ;  and  some  Frenchmen  who  sub- 
scribed, being  unable  to  obtain  either  principal  or  interest, 
applied  to  the  Court  of  Chancery,  in  order  to  charge  the 
revenues  of  the  Duchy  of  Cornwall.  Others  of  the  foreign 
holders  of  bonds  had  recourse  to  other  proceedings  to  en- 
force their  claims.  In  nearly  every  case  the  claimants  were 
arrested  by  the  Secretary  of  State's  order,  and  sent  out  of 
England  under  the  Alien  Act,  and  when  landed  in  their 
own  country  were  again  arrested  for  treasonable  communi- 
cation with  the  enemy,  and  perished  on  the  scaffold.  MM. 
De  Baume,  Chaudot,  Mette,  Aubert,  Vaucher,  and  others, 
all  creditors  of  the  Prince,  were  thus  arrested  under  the 
Duke  of  Portland's  warrant,  and  on  their  deportation  re- 
arrested  for  treason,  and  guillotined.  Thus  were  some  of 
the  debts  of  the  Royal  Family  of  Brunswick  settled,  if  not 
paid.  Honest  family,  these  Brunswicks  ! 

George,  Prince  of  Wales,  and  the  Duke  of  York  were 
constant  patrons  of  prize  fights,  races,  and  gambling  tables, 
largely  betting,  and  not  always  paying  their  wagers  when 


they  lost.  In  the  autumn  of  1791  a  charge  was  made 
against  the  Prince  of  "Wales  that  he  allowed  his  horse 
Escape  to  run  badly  on  the  20th  of  October,  and  when 
heavily  betted  against  caused  the  same  horse  to  be  ridden 
to  win.  A  brother  of  Lord  Lake,  who  was  friendly  to  the 
Prince,  and  who  managed  some  of  his  racing  affairs,  evi- 
dently believed  there  was  foul  play,  and  so  did  the  Jockey 
Club,  who  declared  that  if  the  Prince  permitted  the  same 
jockey,  Samuel  Chiffney,  to  ride  again,  no  gentleman  would 
start  against  him.  A  writer  employed  by  George,  Prince 
of  "Wales,  to  defend  his  character,  says :  "  It  may  be  asked, 
why  did  not  the  Prince  of  Wales  declare  upon  his  honor, 
that  no  foul  play  had  been  used  with  respect  to  Escape's 
first  race  ?  Such  a  declaration  would  at  once  have  solved 
all  difficulties,  and  put  an  end  to  all  embarrassments.  But 
was  it  proper  for  the  Prince  of  Wales  to  have  condescended 
to  such  a  submission  ?  Are  there  not  sometimes  suspicions 
of  so  disgraceful  a  nature  afloat,  and  at  the  same  time  so 
improbable  withal,  that  if  the  person,  who  is  the  object  of 
them,  condescends  to  reply  to  them,  he  degrades  himself? 
Was  it  to  be  expected  of  the  Prince  of  Wales  that  he 
should  purge  himself  by  oath,  like  his  domestic  ?  Or,  was 
it  to  be  looked  for,  that  the  first  subject  in  the  realm,  the 
personage  whose  simple  word  should  have  commanded 
deference,  respect,  and  belief,  was  to  submit  himself  to  the 
examination  of  the  Jockey  Club,  and  answer  such  questious 
as  they  might  have  thought  proper  to  have  proposed  to 

This,  coming  from  a  family  like  the  Brunswicks,  and 
from  one  of  four  brothers  who,  like  their  highnesses  of 
Wales,  York,  Kent,  and  Cumberland,  had  each  in  turn  de- 
clared himself  upon  honor  not  guilty  of  some  misdemeanor 
or  felony,  is  worthy  a  note  of  admiration.  George,  Prince 
of  Wales,  declared  himself  not  guilty  of  bigamy ;  the  Duke 


of  York  declared  himself  not  guilty  of  selling  promotion 
in  the  army.  Both  these  Princes  publicly  declared  them- 
selves not  guilty  of  the  charge  of  trying  to  hinder  their 
royal  father's  restoration  to  sanity.  The  Duke  of  Kent, 
the  Queen's  father,  declared  that  he  was  no  party  to  the 
subornation  of  witnesses  against  his  own  brother.  The 
Duke  of  Cumberland  pledged  his  oath  that  he  had  never 
been  guilty  of  sodomy  and  murder. 

In  September,  1791,  the  Duke  of  York  was  married  to 
the  Princess  Frederica,  daughter  of  the  King  of  Prussia, 
with  whom  he  lived  most  unhappily  for  a  few  years.  The 
only  effect  of  this  marriage  on  the  nation  was  that  £18,000 
a  year  was  voted  as  an  extra  allowance  to  his  Royal  High- 
ness, the  Duke  of  York.  This  was  in  addition  to  100,000 
crowns  given  out  of  the  Civil  List  as  a  marriage  portion  to 
the  Princess.  Dr.  Doran  says  of  the  Duchess  of  York : 
"  For  six  years  she  bore  with  treatment  from  the  '  Com- 
mander-in-Chief '  such  as  no  trooper  under  him  would  have 
inflicted  on  a  wife  equally  deserving.  At  the  end  of  that 
time  the  ill-matched  pair  separated."  Kind  husbands,  these 
Brunswicks ! 

In  a  print  published  on  the  24th  May,  1792,  entitled 
"  Vices  Overlooked  in  the  New  Proclamation,"  Avarice  is 
represented  by  King  George  and  Queen  Charlotte,  hugging 
their  hoarded  millions  with  extreme  satisfaction,  a  book  of 
interest  tables  lying  at  hand.  This  print  is  divided  into 
four  compartments,  representing:  1.  Avarice;  2.  Drunken- 
ness, exemplified  in  the  person  of  the  Prince  of  "Wales; 
3.  Gambling,  the  favorite  amusement  of  the  Duke  of  York ; 
and  4.  Debauchery,  the  Duke  of  Clarence  and  Mrs.  Jordan 
—  as  the  four  notable  vices  of  the  Royal  family  of  Great 
Britain.  If  the  print  had  to  be  re-issued  to-day,  it  would 
require  no  very  vivid  imagination  to  provide  materials  from 


the  living  members  of  the  Roj'al  Family  to  refill  the  four 

Among  various  other  remarkable  trials  occurring  in  1792, 
those  of  Daniel  Holt  and  William  Winterbottom  are  here 
worth}'  of  notice,  as  illustrating  the  fashion  in  which  the 
rule  of  the  Brunswick  monarchy  has  trenched  on  our  polit- 
ical liberties.  The  former,  a  printer  of  Nottingham,  was 
convicted  and  sentenced  to  two  years'  imprisonment  for 
re-publishing,  verbatim,  a  political  tract,  originally  circu- 
lated without  prosecution  by  the  Thatched  House  Tavern 
Association,  of  which  Mr.  Pitt  and  the  Duke  of  Richmond 
had  been  members.  The  other,  a  dissenting  minister  at 
Plymouth,  of  virtuous  and  highly  respectable  character, 
was  convicted  of  sedition,  and  sentenced  to  four  years' 
imprisonment  in  the  jail  of  Newgate,  for  two  sermons 
preached  in  commemoration  of  the  revolution  of  1688. 
The  indictment  charged  him  with  affirming,  "  That  his 
Majesty  was  placed  upon  the  throne  on  condition  of  keep- 
ing certain  laws  and  rules,  and  if  he  does  not  observe  them, 
he  has  no  more  right  to  the  crown  than  the  Stuarts  had." 
All  the  Whigs  in  the  kingdom  might,  doubtless,  have  been 
comprehended  in  a  similar  indictment.  And  if  the  doc- 
trine affirmed  by  the  Rev.  Mr.  Winterbottom  be  denied, 
the  monstrous  reverse  of  the  proposition  follows,  that  the 
King  is  bound  by  no  conditions  or  laws  ;  and  that,  though 
resistance  to  the  tyranny  of  the  Stuarts  might  be  justifiable, 
resistance  under  the  same  circumstances  to  the  House  of 
Brunswick  is  not.  This  trial,  for  the  cruelty  and  infamy 
attending  it,  has  been  justly  compared  to  the  celebrated 
one  of  Rosewell  in  the  latter  years  of  Charles  H.,  to  the 
events  of  which  those  of  1792  exhibit,  in  various  respects, 
a  striking  and  alarming  parallel. 

Before  his  election  to  the  National  Convention,  Thomas 
Paine  published  the  second  part  of  his  "  Rights  of  Man," 


in  which  he  boldly  promulgated  principles  which,  though 
fiercely  condemned  at  the  date  of  their  issue,  are  now  being 
gradually  accepted  by  the  great  mass  of  the  people. 
Paine's  work  was  spread  through  the  kingdom  with  extraor- 
dinary industry,  and  was  greedily  sought  for  by  people 
of  all  classes.  Despite  the  great  risk  of  fine  and  imprison- 
ment, some  of  the  most  effective  parts  were  printed  on 
pieces  of  paper,  which  were  used  by  Republican  tradesmen  as 
wrappers  for  their  commodities.  Proceedings  were  immedi- 
ately taken  against  Thomas  Paine  as  author  of  the  obnoxious 
book,  which  was  treated  as  a  libel  against  the  government 
and  constitution,  and  on  trial  Paine  was  found  guilty.  He 
was  defended  with  great  ability  by  Erskine,  who,  when  he 
left  the  court,  was  cheered  by  a  crowd  of  people  who  had 
collected  without,  some  of  whom  took  his  horses  from  his 
carriage,  and  dragged  him  home  to  his  house  in  Serjeant's 
Inn.  The  name  and  opinions  of  Thomas  Pain  were  at 
this  moment  gaining  influence,  in  spite  of  the  exertions 
made  to  put  them  down.  From  this  time  for  several  years 
it  is  almost  impossible  to  read  a  weekly  journal  without 
finding  some  instance  of  persecution  for  publishing  Mr. 
Paine's  political  views. 

The  trial  of  Thomas  Paine  was  the  commencement  of  a 
series  of  State  prosecutions,  not  for  political  offences,  but 
for  political  designs.  The  name  of  Paine  had  caused  much 
apprehension,  but  many  even  amongst  the  Conservatives 
dreaded  the  extension  of  the  practice  of  making  the  publi- 
cation of  a  man's  abstract  opinions  criminal,  when  unac- 
companied with  any  direct  or  open  attempt  to  put  them 
into  effect.  In  the  beginning  of  1793  followed  prosecu- 
tions in  Edinburgh,  where  the  ministerial  influence  was 
great,  against  men  who  had  associated  to  do  little  more 
than  call  for  reform  in  Parliament ;  and  five  persons,  whose 
alleged  crimes  consisted  chiefly  in  having  read  Paine's 


"  Rights  of  Man,"  and  in  having  expressed  either  a  partial 
approbation  of  his  doctrines,  or  a  strong  declaration  in 
favor  of  Parliamentary  reform,  were  transported  severall}- : 
Joseph  Gerrald,  William  Skirving,  and  Thomas  Muir  for 
fourteen,  and  Thomas  Fyshe  Palmer  and  Maurice  Margaret 
for  seven  years  !  These  men  had  been  active  in  the  politi- 
cal societies,  and  it  was  imagined  that,  by  an  exemplary 
injustice  of  this  kind,  these  societies  would  be  intimidated. 
Such,  however,  was  not  the  case,  for,  from  this  moment, 
the  clubs  in  Edinburgh  became  more  active  than  ever,  and 
they  certainly  took  a  more  dangerous  character ;  so  that, 
before  the  end  of  the  year,  there  was  actually  a  "  British 
Convention"  sitting  in  the  Scottish  capital.  This  was 
dissolved  by  force  at  the  beginning  of  1794,  and  two  of  its 
members  were  added  to  the  convicts  already  destined  for 
transportation.  Their  severe  sentences  provoked  warm 
discussions  in  the  English  Parliament,  but  the  ministers 
were  inexorable  in  their  resolution  to  put  them  in  execu- 

The  extreme  severity  of  the  sentences  passed  on  the 
Scottish  political  martyrs,  even  as  judged  by  those  admit- 
ting the  legality  and  justice  of  their  conviction,  was  so 
shameful  as  to  rouse  general  interest.  Barbarous  as  the 
law  of  Scotland  appeared  to  be,  it  became  a  matter  of 
doubt  whether  the  Court  of  Justiciary  had  not  exceeded  its 
power,  in  substituting  the  punishment  of  transportation  for 
that  of  banishment,  imposed  by  the  Act  of  Queen  Anne, 
for  the  offence  charged  on  those  men. 

In  1794,  the  debts  of  the  Prince  of  Wales  then  amount- 
ing to  about  £650,000,  not  including  the  amounts  due  on 
the  foreign  bonds,  a  marriage  was  suggested  in  order  to 
give  an  excuse  for  going  to  Parliament  for  a  vote.  This 
was  at  a  time  when  the  Prince  was  living  with  Mrs.  Fitz- 
herbert  as  his  wife,  and  when  Lady  Jersey  was  his  most 

94  THE  HOUSE   OF 

prominent  mistress.  The  bride  selected  was  Caroline  of 
Brunswick.  A  poor  woman  for  a  wife,  if  Lord  Malmes- 
bury's  picture  is  a  true  one,  certainly  in  no  sense  a  bad  wom- 
an. But  her  husband  our  Prince !  When  she  arrived  in 
London,  George  was  not  sober.  His  first  words,  after 
greeting  her,  were  to  Lord  Malmesbury,  "  Get  me  a  glass 
of  brandy."  Tipsy  this  Brunswicker  went  to  the  altar  on 
the  8th  of  April,  1794 ;  so  tipsy  that  he  got  up  from  his 
knees  too  soon,  and  the  King  had  to  whisper  him  down,  the 
Archbishop  having  halted  in  amaze  in  the  ceremony.  Here 
there  is  no  possibility  of  mistake.  The  two  Dukes  who 
were  his  best  men  at  the  wedding  had  their  work  to  keep 
him  from  falling ;  and  to  one,  the  Duke  of  Bedford,  he  ad- 
mitted that  he  had  had  several  glasses  of  brandy  before 
coming  to  the  chapel. 

Thackeray  says,  ""What  could  be  expected  from  a  wed- 
ding which  had  such  a  beginning  —  from  such  a  bridegroom 
and  such  a  bride  ?  Malmesbury  gives  us  the  beginning  of 
the  marriage  story  —  how  the  prince  reeled  into  chapel  to 
be  married  ;  how  he  hiccupped  out  his  vows  of  fidelity  — 
you  know  how  he  kept  them ;  how  he  pursued  the  woman 
whom  he  had  married ;  to  what  a  state  he  brought  her ; 
with  what  blows  he  struck  her ;  with  what  malignity  he 
pursued  her ;  what  his  treatment  of  his  daughter  was  ;  and 
what  his  own  life.  .He,  the  first  gentleman  of  Europe ! " 

The  Parliament  not  only  paid  the  Prince  of  Wales's  debts, 
but  gave  him  £28,000  for  jewels  and  plate,  and  £26,000  for 
the  furnishing  of  Carlton  House. 

On  the  12th  of  May,  Mr.  Henry  Dundas  brought  down 
on  behalf  of  the  government,  a  second  message  from  the 
King,  importing  that  seditious  practices  had  been  carried 
on  by  certain  societies  in  London,  in  correspondence  with 
other  societies  ;  that  they  had  lately  been  pursued  with  in- 
creasing activity  and  boldness,  and  had  been  avowedly 


directed  to  the  assembling  of  a  pretended  National  Con- 
vention, in  contempt  and  defiance  of  the  authority  of  Par- 
liament, on  principles  subversive  of  the  existing  laws  and 
the  constitution,  and  tending  to  introduce  that  system  of 
anarchy  prevailing  in  France  ;  that  his  Majesty  had  given 
orders  for  seizing  the  books  and  papers  of  those  societies, 
which  were  to  be  laid  before  the  House,  to  whom  it  was 
recommended  to  pursue  measures  necessary  to  counteract 
their  pernicious  tendency.  A  large  collection  of  books  and 
papers  was,  in  consequence,  brought  down  to  the  House ; 
and,  after  an  address  had  been  voted,  a  resolution  was 
agreed  to,  that  those  papers  should  be  referred  to  a  com- 
mittee of  secrecy.  A  few  days  after  the  King's  message 
was  delivered,  the  following  persons  were  committed  to  the 
Tower  on  a  charge  of  high  treason :  Mr.  Thomas  Hardy, 
a  shoemaker  in  Piccadilly,  who  officiated  as  secretary  to  the 
London  Corresponding  Society  ;  Mr.  Daniel  Adams,  secre- 
tary to  the  Society  for  Constitutional  Information;  Mr. 
John  Home  Tooke;  Mr.  Stewart  Kyd;  Mr.  Jeremiah 
Joyce,  preceptor  to  Lord  Mahon,  eldest  son  of  the  Earl  of 
Stanhope  ;  and  Mr.  John  Thelwall,  who  had  for  some  time 
delivered  lectures  on  political  subjects  in  London. 

Under  the  influence  of  excitement  resulting  from  the 
Government  statement  of  the  discovery  of  a  plot  to  assassi- 
nate the  King,  and  which  plot  never  existed  outside  the 
brains  of  the  Government  spies,  a  Special  Commission  of 
Oyer  and  Terminer  was  issued  on  the  10th  of  September, 
1794,  for  the  trial  of  the  State  prisoners  confined  in  the 
Tower  on  a  charge  of  high  treason.  On  the  2d  of  October, 
the  Commission  was  opened  at  the  Sessions  House,  Clerk- 
enwell,  by  Lord  Chief  Justice  Eyre,  in  an  elaborate  charge 
to  the  grand  jury.-  Bills  were  then  found  against  all  who 
had  been  taken  up  in  May,  except  Daniel  Adams.  Hardy 
was  first  put  on  his  trial  at  the  Old  Bailey.  The  trial  com- 


menced  on  the  28th  of  October,  and  continued  with  short 
adjournments  until  the  5th  of  November.  Mr.  Erskine 
was  counsel  for  Hardy,  and  employed  his  great  talents  and 
brilliant  eloquence  with  the  most  complete  success.  After 
consulting  together  for  three  hours,  the  jury,  who,  though 
the  avowed  friends  of  the  then  administration,  were  men  of 
impartiality,  intelligence,  and  of  highly  respectable  charac- 
ters, returned  a  verdict  of  Not  Guilty.  There  has  seldom 
been  a  verdict  given  in  a  British  court  of  justice  which  af- 
forded more  general  satisfaction.  It  is  doubtful  whether 
there  has  been  a  verdict  more  important  in  its  consequences 
to  the  liberties  of  the  English  people.  On  the  17th  of  No- 
vember, John  Home  Tooke  was  put  on  his  trial.  The  Duke 
of  Richmond,  Earl  Camden,  Mr.  Pitt,  and  Mr.  Beaufoy,  were 
subpoenaed  by  the  prisoner ;  and  the  examination  of  "Wil- 
liam Pitt  by  Mr.  Tooke  and  his  counsel  formed  the  most 
important  feature  in  the  trial,  as  the  evidence  of  the  Prime 
Minister  tended  to  prove  that,  from  the  year  1780  to  1782, 
he  himself  had  been  actively  engaged  with  Mr.  Tooke  and 
many  others  in  measures  of  agitation  to  procure  a  Parlia- 
mentary reform,  although  he  now  not  only  deemed  the  at- 
tempt dangerous  and  improper,  but  sought  to  condemn  it 
as  treasonable,  or  at  least  as  seditious.  Mr.  Erskine,  who 
was  counsel  for  Mr.  Tooke  also,  in  a  most  eloquent  and 
powerful  manner  contended  that  the  conduct  of  his  client 
was  directed  only  to  the  same  object  as  that  previously 
sought  by  Pitt  himself,  and  that  the  measures  resorted  to, 
so  far  from  being  criminal,  were  perfectly  constitutional. 
Mr.  Pitt  was  extremely  guarded  in  his  replies,  and  pro- 
fessed very  little  recollection  of  what  passed  at  the  meet- 
ings which  he  attended.  A  letter  he  had  written  to  Mr. 
Tooke  at  that  time  on,  the  subject  was  handed  to  him, 
which  he  pretended  he  could  scarcely  recognize,  and  which 
the  judge  would  not  permit  to  be  read.  Mr.  Sheridan,  who 


was  likewise  engaged  in  the  agitation  for  political  reform, 
and  subpoenaed  by  Mr.  Tooke,  gave  unqualified  evidence  in 
favor  of  Mr.  Tooke  respecting  the  proceedings  at  those 
meetings.  The  trial  continued  till  the  Saturday  following, 
when  the  jury  were  out  of  court  only  six  minutes,  and  re- 
turned a  verdict  of  Not  Guilty  ! 

The  opening  of  Parliament  was  looked  forward  to  with 
great  anxiety,  on  account  of  the  extreme  distress  under 
which  the  country  was  laboring.  As  the  time  approached, 
popular  meetings  were  held  in  the  metropolis,  and  prepara- 
tions were  made  for  an  imposing  demonstration.  During 
the  morning  of  the  29th  of  October,  the  day  on  which  the 
King  was  to  open  the  session  in  person,  crowds  of  men 
continued  pouring  into  the  town  from  the  various  open 
spaces  outside,  where  simultaneous  meetings  had  been  called 
by  placards  and  advertisements  ;  and  before  the  King  left 
Buckingham  House,  on  his  way  to  St.  James's,  the  number 
of  people  collected  on  the  ground  over  which  he  had  to  pass 
is  admitted  in  the  papers  of  the  day  to  have  been  not  less 
than  two  hundred  thousand.  At  first  the  state  carriage 
was  allowed  to  move  on  through  this  dense  mass  in  sullen 
silence,  no  hats  being  taken  off,  nor  any  other  mark  of 
respect  being  shown.  This  was  followed  by  a  general 
outburst  of  hisses  and  groans,  mingled  with  shouts  of 
"  Give  us  peace  and  bread ! "  "  No  war ! "  "  No  King ! " 
"  Down  with  him  !  down  with  George  !  "  and  the  like  ;  and 
this  tumult  continued  unabated  until  the  King  reached  the 
House  of  Lords,  the  Guards  with  much  difficulty  keeping 
the  mob  from  closing  on  the  carriage.  As  it  passed  through 
Margaret  Street  the  populace  seemed  determined  to  attack 
it,  and  when  opposite  the  Ordnance  Office  a  stone  passed 
through  the  glass  of  the  carriage  window.  A  verse  pub- 
lished the  following  day  says :  — 


"  Folks  say  it  was  lucky  the  stone  missed  the  head, 

When  lately  at  Caesar  'twas  thrown ; 
I  think  very  different  from  thousands  indeed, — 
'Twas  a  lucky  escape  for  the  stone." 

The  demonstration  was,  if  anything,  more  fierce  on  the 
Bang's  return,  and  he  had  some  difficulty  in  reaching  St. 
James's  Palace  without  injury ;  for  the  mob  threw  stones 
at  the  state  carriage  and  damaged  it  considerably.  After 
remaining  a  short  time  at  St.  James's,  he  proceeded  in  his 
private  coach  to  Buckingham  House,  but  the  carriage  was 
stopped  in  the  Park  by  the  populace,  who  pressed  round  it, 
shouting,  "  Bread,  bread !  Peace,  peace  !  "  until  the  King 
was  rescued  from  this  unpleasant  situation  by  a  strong  body 
of  the  Guards. 

Treason  and  sedition  Acts  were  hurried  through  Parlia- 
ment to  repress  the  cries  of  the  hungry  for  bread,  whilst 
additional  taxes  were  imposed  to  make  the  poor  poorer. 

That  the  terrible  French  war  —  of  which  it  is  impossible 
to  give  any  account  in  the  limits  of  this  essay,  a  war  which 
cost  Great  Britian  at  least  £1,000,000,000  in  hard  cash, 
without  reckoning  the  hundreds  of  thousands  of  killed, 
wounded,  and  pauperized,  and  which  Buckle  calls  "  the 
most  hateful,  the  most  unjust,  and  the  most  atrocious  war 
England  has  ever  waged  against  any  country  "  —  directly 
resulted  from  our  government  under  the  Brunswick  family 
is  a  point  on  which  it  is  impossible  for  any  one  who  has 
examined  the  facts  to  have  a  serious  doubt.  Sir.  Archi- 
bald Alison  tells  us  that,  early  in  1791,  ''The  Bang  of 
England  took  a  vivid  interest  in  the  misfortunes  of  the 
Royal  Family  of  France,  promising,  as  Elector  of  Hanover, 
to  concur  in  any  measure  which  might  be  deemed  necessary 
to  extricate  them  from  their  embarrassments  ;  and  he  sent 
Lord  Elgin  to  Leopold,  who  was  then  travelling  in  Italy, 
to  concert  measures  for  the  common  object."  It  was  as 


Elector  of  Hanover  also  that  his  grandfather,  George  II., 
had  sacrificed  English  honor  and  welfare  to  the  personal 
interest  and  family  connections  of  these  wretched  Bruns- 
wicks.  It  is  certain  too,  that,  after  years  of  terrible  war,  on 
one  of  the  occasions  of  negotiation  for  peace,  hindrances 
arose  because  our  Government  insisted  on  describing 
George  III.,  in  the  preliminaries,  as  "  King  of  France." 
The  French  naturally  said,  first,  your  King  George  never 
has  been  King  of  any  part  of  France  at  any  time  ;  and  next, 
we,  having  just  declared  France  a  Republic,  cannot  in  a 
solemn  treaty  recognize  the  continued  existence  of  a  claim 
to  Monarchy  over  us. 

The  following  table,  which  we  insert  at  this  stage  to  save 
the  need  for  further  reference,  shows  how  the  labor  of  the 
British  nation  was  burdened  for  generations  to  come,  by 
the  insane  affection  of  the  House  of  Brunswick  for  the 
House  of  Bourbon :  — 

Tears.  Taxes.  Loans. 

1793  £17,656,418  £25,926,526 

1794  17,170,400 

1795  17,308,411  51,705,698 

1796  17,858,454  56,945,566 

1797  18,737,760  25,350,000 

1798  20,654,650  35,624,250 

1799  30,202,916  21,875,300 

1800  35,229,968  29,045,000 

1801  33,896,464  44,816,250 

1802  35,415,296  41,489,438 

1803  37,240,213  16,000,000 

1804  37,677,063  18,200,000 

1805  45,359,442  39,543,124 

1806  49,659,281  29,880,000 

1807  53,304,254  18,373,200 

1808  58,390,255  13,693,254 

1809  61,538,207  21,278,122 

1810  63,405,294  19,811,108 









After  making  some  deductions  on  account  of  the  opera- 
tions of  the  loyalty  loan,  and  the  transfer  of  annuities,  the 
total  debt  contracted  from  1793  to  1815  amounts  to 
£762,537,445.  If  to  this  sum  be  added  the  increase  in  the 
unfunded  debt  during  that  period,  and  the  additional  sums 
raised  by  taxes  in  consequence  of  hostilities,  we  shall  have 
the  total  expenditure,  owing  to  the  French  war,  as  fol- 
lows :  — 

Debt  contracted  from  1793  to  1815  £762,537,445 

Increase  in  the  Unfunded  Debt  50,194,060 

War  Taxes  614,488,459 

Total  1,427,219,964 

Deduct  sum  paid  to  the  Commissioners  for 
reduction  of  the  National  Debt  173,309,383 

Total  cost  of  the  French  war  £1,253,910,581 

Lord  Fife,  in  the  House  of  Lords,  said  that  "in  this  hor- 
rid war  had  he  first  witnessed  the  blood  and  treasure  of  the 
nation  expended  in  the  extravagant  folly  of  secret  expedi- 
tions, which  had  invariably  proved  either  abortive  or  unsuc- 
cessful. Grievous  and  heavy  taxes  had  been  laid  on  the 
people,  and  wasted  in  expensive  embassies,  and  in  subsi- 
dizing proud,  treacherous,  and  useless  foreign  princes." 

In  1795  King  George  and  his  advisers  tried  by  statute  to 
put  a  stop  forever  in  this  country  to  all  political  or  relig- 
ious discussion.  No  meeting  was  to  be  held,  except  on  five 


days'  duly  advertised  notice,  to  be  signed  by  householders ; 
and  if  for  lectures  or  debates,  on  special  license  by  a  mag- 
istrate. Power  was  given  to  a^  magistrate  to  put  an  end 
in  his  discretion  to  any  meeting,  and  to  use  military  force 
in  the  event  of  twelve  persons  remaining  one  hour  after 
notice.  If  a  man  lent  books,  newspapers,  or  pamphlets 
without  license,  he  might  be  fined  twenty  pounds  for  every 
offence.  If  he  permitted  lectures  or  debates  on  any  subject 
whatever,  he  might  be  fined  one  hundred  pounds  a  day. 
And  yet  people  dare  to  tell  us  that  we  owe  our  liberties  to 
these  Brunswicks ! 

On  the  1st  of  June,  1795,  Gillray,  in  a  caricature  entitled 
"  John  Bull  Ground  Down,"  had  represented  Pitt  grinding 
John  Bull  into  money,  which  was  flowing  out  in  an  immense 
stream  beneath  the  mill.  The  Prince  of  Wales  is  drawing 
off  a  large  portion,  to  pay  the  debts  incurred  by  his  extrav- 
agance ;  while  Dundas,  Burke,  and  Loughborough,  as  the 
representatives  of  ministerial  pensioners,  are  scrambling 
for  the  rest.  King  George  encourages  Pitt  to  grind  with- 
out mercy.  Another  caricature  by  Gillray,  published  on 
the  4th  of  June,  represents  Pitt  as  Death  on  the  White 
Horse  (the  horse  of  Hanover) ,  riding  over  a  drove  of  pigs, 
the  representatives  of  what  Burke  had  termed  the  "  swinish 

On  the  7th  of  January,  1796,  the  Princess  Charlotte  of 
Wales  was  born,  and  on  the  30th  of  April,  George,  Prince 
of  Wales,  wrote  to  the  Princess  Caroline,  stating  that  he 
did  not  intend  to  live  with  her  any  more.  The  Prince  had 
some  time  previously  sent  by  Lord  Cholmondeley  a  verbal 
message  to  the  same  effect,  which,  however,  the  Princess 
had  refused  to  accept.  The  mistress  reigning  over  the 
Prince  of  Wales  at  this  time  was  Lady  Jersey. 

No  impeachment  of  the  House  of  Brunswick  would  be 
even  tolerably  supported  which  did  not  contain  some  refer- 


ence  to  the  terrible  misgovernment  of  Ireland  under  the 
rule  of  this  obstinate  and  vicious  family ;  and  yet  these  few- 
pages  afford  but  little  space  in  which  to  show  how  benefi- 
cent the  authority^  of  King  George  III.  has  proved  to  our 
Irish  brethren. 

During  the  war,  when  there  were  no  troops  in  Ireland, 
and  when,  under  Flood  and  Grattan,  the  volunteers  were  in 
arms,  some  concessions  had  been  made  to  the  Irish  people. 
A  few  obnoxious  laws  had  been  repealed,  and  promises  had 
been  held  out  of  some  relaxation  of  the  fearfully  oppressive 
laws  against  the  Catholics.  From  the  correspondence  of 
Earl  Temple,  it  is  clear  that  in  1782  not  only  was  the  King 
against  any  further  concession  whatever,  but  that  his  Maj- 
esty and  Lord  Shelburne  actually  manoeuvred  to  render  the 
steps  already  taken  as  fruitless  as  possible.  We'  find  W. 
W.  Grenville  admitting,  on  the  15th  December,  1782,  "  that 
the  [Irish]  people  are  really  miserable  and  oppressed  to  a 
degree  I  had  not  at  all  conceived."  The  Government  acted 
dishonestly  to  Ireland.  The  consequence  was,  continued 
miser}'  and  disaffection ;  and  I  assert,  without  fear  of  con- 
tradiction, that  this  state  of  things  is  directly  traceable  to 
the  King's  wilfulness  on  Irish  affairs."  As  an  illustration 
of  the  character  of  the  Government,  it  is  worth  notice  that 
Lord  Temple,  when  Lord  Lieutenant  of  Ireland,  wrote  to 
his  brother  in  cipher,  because  his  letters  were  opened  in  the 
Post  Office  by  Lord  Shelburne.  The  Parliament  of  Ireland 
was  in  great  part  owned  by  absentee  peers,  and  each  change 
of  Lord-Lieutenancy  was  marked  by  heavy  addition  to  the 
Pension  List.  The  continuance  of  the  Catholic  disabilities 
rendered  permanent  quiet  impossible.  Three-fourths  of  the 
nation  were  legally  and  socially  almost  outlawed.  The 
national  discontent  was  excited  by  the  arbitrary  conduct  of 
the  authorities,  and  hopes  of  successful  revolution  were 


encouraged,  after  1789,  by  the  progress  of  the  Revolution 
in  France. 

About  1790,  the  "United  Irishmen"  first  began  to  be 
heard  of.  Their  object  was  "  a  complete  reform  in  the 
legislature,  founded  on  the  principles  of  civil,  political  and 
religious  liberty."  The  clubs  soon  became  secret  associa- 
tions, and  were  naturally  soon  betrayed.  Prosecutions  for 
sedition  in  1793  were  soon  followed  by  military  repression. 

Lord  Moira,  in  the  House  of  Lords  in  1797,  in  a  powerful 
speech,  which  has  remained  without  any  refutation,  de- 
scribed the  Government  of  Ireland  as  "  the  most  absurd, 
as  well  as  the  most  disgusting,  tyranny  that  any  nation 
ever  groaned  under."  He  said :  "  If  such  a  tyranny  be 
persevered  in,  the  consequence  must  inevitably  be  the 
deepest  and  most  universal  discontent,  and  even  hatred  to 
the  English  name.  I  have  seen  in  that  country  a  marked 
distinction  made  between  the  English  and  Irish.  I  have 
seen  troops  that  have  been  sent  full  of  this  prejudice  — 
that  every  inhabitant  in  that  kingdom  is  a  rebel  to  the 
British  Government.  I  have  seen  the  most  wanton  insults 
practised  upon  men  of  all  ranks  and  conditions.  I  have 
seen  the  most  grievous  oppressions  exercised,  in  conse- 
quence of  a  presumption  that  the  person  who  was  the 
unfortunate  object  of  such  oppression  was  in  hostility  to  the 
Government ;  and  yet  that  has  been  done  in  a  part  of  the 
country  as  quiet  and  as  free  from  disturbance  as  the  eity 
of  London."  His  lordship  then  observed  that,  "  from 
education  and  early  habits,  the  curfew  was  ever  considered 
by  Britons  as  a  badge  of  slavery  and  oppression.  It  was 
then  practised  in  Ireland  with  brutal  rigor.  He  had  known 
instances  where  the  master  of  a  house  had  in  vain  pleaded 
to  be  allowed  the  use  of  a  candle,  to  enable  the  mother  to 
administer  relief  to  her  daughter  struggling  in  convulsive 
fits.  In  former  times,  it  had  been  the  custom  for  English- 


men  to  bold  the  infamous  proceedings  of  the  Inquisition  in 
detestation.  One  of  the  greatest  horrors  with  which  it  was 
attended  was  that  the  person,  ignorant  of  the  crime  laid  to 
his  charge,  or  of  his  accuser,  was  torn  from  his  family, 
immured  in  a  prison,  and  kept  in  the  most  cruel  uncertainty 
as  to  the  period  of  his  confinement,  or  the  fate  which 
awaited  him.  To  this  injustice,  abhorred  by  Protestants 
in  the  practice  of  the  Inquisition,  were  the  people  of 
Ireland  exposed.  All  confidence,  all  security,  were  taken 
away.  When  a  man  was  taken  up  on  suspicion,  he  was 
put  to  the  torture ;  nay,  if  he  were  merely  accused  of  con- 
cealing the  guilt  of  another.  The  rack,  indeed,  was  not  at 
Land ;  but  the  punishment  of  picqueting  was  in  practice, 
which  had  been  for  some  years  abolished  as  too  inhuman, 
even  in  the  dragoon  service.  He  had  known  a  man,  in 
order  to  extort  a  confession  of  a  supposed  crime,  or  of  that 
of  some  of  his  neighbors,  picqueted  till  he  actually  fainted 
—  picqueted  a  second  time  till  he  fainted  again,  and  as 
soon  as  he  came  to  himself,  picqueted  a  third  time  till  he 
once  more  fainted ;  and  all  upon  mere  suspicion !  Nor 
was  this  the  only  species  of  torture.  Men  had  been  taken 
and  hung  up  till  they  were  half  dead,  and  then  threatened 
with  a  repetition  of  the  cruel  treatment,  unless  -they  made 
confession  of  the  imputed  guilt.  These  were  not  particular 
acts  of  cruelty,  exercised  by  men  abusing  the  power  com- 
mitted to  them,  but  they  formed  part  of  our  system.  They 
were  notorious,  and  no  person  could  say  who  would  be  the 
next  victim  of  this  oppression  and  cruelty,  which  he  saw 
others  endure.  This,  however,  was  not  all :  their  lordships, 
no  doubt,  would  recollect  the  famous  proclamation  issued 
by  a  military  commander  in  Ireland,  requiring  the  people 
to  give  up  their  arms.  It  never  was  denied  that  this  proc- 
lamation was  illegal,  though  defended  on  some  supposed 
necessity ;  but  it  was  not  surprising  that  some  reluctance 

THE    HOUSE    OF  BRUNSmCK.  105 

had  been  shown  to  comply  with  it  by  men  who  conceived 
the  Constitution  gave  them  a  right  to  keep  arms  in  their 
houses  for  their  own  defence  ;  and  they  could  not  but  feel 
indignation  in  being  called  upon  to  give  up  their  right. 
In  the  execution  of  the  order  the  greatest  cruelties  had 
been  committed.  If  any  one  was  suspected  to  have  con- 
cealed weapons  of  defence,  his  house,  his  furniture,  and  all 
his  property  were  burnt ;  but  this  was  not  all.  If  it  were 
supposed  that  any  district  had  not  surrendered  all  the  arms 
which  it  contained,  a  party  was  sent  out  to  collect  the 
number  at  which  it  was  rated  ;  and,  in  execution  of  this  order, 
thirty  houses  were  sometimes  burnt  down  in  a  single  night. 
Officers  took  upon  themselves  to  decide  discretionally  the 
quantity  of  arms  ;  and  upon  their  opinions  the  fatal  conse- 
quences followed.  These  facts  were  well-known  in  Ireland, 
but  they  could  not  be  made  public  through  the  channel  of 
the  newspapers,  for  fear  of  that  summary  mode  of  punish- 
ment which  had  been  practised  towards  the  Northern  Star, 
when  a  party  of  troops  in  open  day,  and  in  a  town  where 
the  General's  head-quarters  were,  went  and  destroyed  all 
the  offices  and  property  belonging  to  that  paper.  It  was 
thus  authenticated  accounts  were  suppressed."  • 

Can  any  one  wonder  that  the  ineffectual  attempt  at  revo- 
lution of  1798  followed  such  a  state  of  things  ?  And  when, 
in  the  London  Chronicle  and  Cambridge  Intelligencer,  and 
other  journals  by  no  means  favorable  to  Ireland  or  its 
people,  we  read  the  horrid  stories  of  women  ravished,  men 
tortured,  and  farms  pillaged,  all  in  the  name  of  law  and 
order,  and  this  by  King  George's  soldiers,  not  more  than 
seventy  years  ago,  can  we  feel  astonishment  that  the  Wex- 
ford  peasants  have  grown  up  to  hate  the  Saxon  op- 
pressor? And  this  we  owe  to  a  family  of  kings  who 
used  their  pretended  Protestantism  as  a  cloak  for  the  ill- 
treatment  of  our  Catholic  brethren  in  Ireland.  In  impeach 


ing  the  Brunswicks,  we  remind  the  people  of  proclamations 
officially  issued  in  the  King's  name,  threatening  to  burn 
and  devastate  whole  parishes,  and  we  allege  that  the  dis- 
affection in  Ireland  at  the  present  moment  is  the  natural 
fruit  of  the  utter  regardlessness,  on  the  part  of  these 
Guelphs,  for  human  liberty,  or  happiness,  or  life.  The 
grossest  excesses  were  perpetrated  in  Ireland  by  King 
George  III.'s  foreign  auxiliaries.  The  troops  from  Hesse 
Cassel,  from  Hesse  Darmstadt,  and  from  Hanover,  earned 
an  unenviable  notoriety  by  their  cruelty,  rapacity,  and 
licentiousness.  And  these  we  owe  entirely  to  the  Bruns- 

A  letter  from  the  War  Office,  dated  April  llth,  1798, 
shows  how  foreigners  were  specially  selected  for  the  regi- 
ments sent  over  to  Ireland.  Sir  Ealph  Abercromby  pub- 
licly rebuked  the  King's  army,  of  which  he  was  the  Com- 
raauder-iii-Chief,  for  their  disgraceful  irregularities  and 
licentiousness.  Even  Lieutenant-General  Lake  admits 
that  "  the  determination  of  the  troops  to  destroy  every  one 
they  think  a  rebel  is  beyond  description,  and  needs  correc- 

In  1801,  it  was  announced  that  King  George  III.  was 
suffering  from  severe  cold  and  sore  throat,  and  could  not 
therefore  go  out  in  public.  His  disease,  however,  was  more 
mental  than  bodily.  Her  present  Majesty  has  also  suffered 
from  severe  cold  and  sore  throat,. but  no  allegation  is  ven- 
tured that  her  mental  condition  is  such  as  to  unfit  her  for 
her  Royal  duties. 

On  March  29,  1802,  the  sum  of  £990,053  was  voted  for 
payment  of  the  King's  debts. 

In  1803,  the  Prince  of  Wales  being  again  in  debt,  a  fur- 
ther vote  was  passed  of  £60,000  a  year  for  three  years  and 
a  half.  Endeavors  were  made  to  increase  this  grant,  but, 
marvellous  to  relate,  the  House  of  Commons  actually  acted 

TflE   HOUSE    OF  BRUNSWICK.  107 

as  if  it  had  some  slight  interest  in  the  welfare  of  the  people, 
and  rejected  a  motion  of  Mr.  Calcraft  for  a  further  rote  of 
money  to  enable  his  Royal  Highness  to  maintain  his  state 
and  dignit}\  The  real  effect  of  the  vote  actually  carried, 
was  to  provide  for  £800.649  of  the  Prince's  debts,  including 
the  vote  of  1794. 

On  July  21,  1763,  £60,000  cash,  and  a  pension  of  £16,000 
a  year,  were  voted  to  the  Prince  of  Orange. 

In  1804.  King  George  was  very  mad,  but  Mr.  Addington 
explained  to  Parliament,  that  there  was  nothing  in  his 
Majesty's  indisposition  to  prevent  his  discharging  the  Royal 
functions.  Mr.  Gladstone  also  recentty  explained  to  Par- 
liament, that  there  would  be  no  delay  in  the  prorogation  of 
Parliament  in  consequence  of  her  gracious  Majesty's  indis- 
position and  absence. 

In  1 805 ,  the  House  of  Commons  directed  the  criminal  prose- 
cution of  Lord  Melville,  for  corrupt  conduct  and  embezzle- 
ment of  public  money,  as  first  Lord  of  the  Admiralty.  For 
this,  however,  impeachment  was  substituted,  and,  on  his 
trial  before  the  House  of  Peers,  he  was  acquitted,  as  out  of 
136  peers,  only  59  said  that  they  thought  him  guilty, 
although  he  had  admitted  the  misapplication  of  £10,000. 

On  the  29th  of  March,  1806,  a  warrant  was  signed  by 
King  George  III.,  directed  to  Lord  Chancellor  Erskine,  to 
Lord  Grenville,  the  Prime  Minister,  to  Lord  Ellenborough, 
then  Lord  Chief  Justice  of  England,  and  to  Earl  Spencer, 
commanding  them  to  inquire  into  the  conduct  of  Her  Royal 
Highness  the  Princess  of  Wales.  Before  these  Lords, 
Charlotte  Lady  Douglas  swore  that  she  had  visited  the 
Princess,  who  confessed  to  having  committed  adultery,  say- 
ing "that  she  got  a  bedfellow  whenever  she  could,  that 
nothing  was  more  wholesome."  Lady  Douglas  further 
swore  to  the  Princess's  pregnancy,  and  evidence  was  given 
to  prove  that  she  had  been  delivered  of  a  male  child.  The 


whole  of  this  evidence  was  found  to  be  perjury,  and  Lady 
Douglas  was  recommended  for  prosecution.  The  only  per- 
son to  be  benefited  was  George  Prince  of  "Wales,  who 
desired  to  be  divorced  from  his  wife,  and  it  is  alleged  that  he 
suborned  these  witnesses  to  commit  perjury  against  her. 
At  this  time  the  Prince  of  Wales  himself  had  just  added 
Lady  Hertfort  to  the  almost  interminable  muster-roll  of  his 
loves,  and  was  mixed  up  in  a  still  more  strange  and  dis- 
graceful transaction,  in  which  he  used  his  personal  influence 
to  canvass  Peers  —  sitting  as  the  highest  law  court  in  the 
realm  —  in  order  to  induce  them  to  vote  the  guardianship 
of  Miss  Seymour,  a  niece  of  Lady  Hertfort,  to  Mrs.  Fitz- 
herbert.  Spencer  Percival,  who  acted  for  the  Princess  of 
Wales,  being  about  to  publish  the  whole  of  the  proceedings 
of  the  Royal  Commissioners,  with  the  evidence  and  their 
verdict,  his  book  was  quietly  suppressed,  and  he  received  a 
reward  —  a  post  in  the  Cabinet.  It  is  said  that  George 
III.  directed  the  report  of  the  Commissioners  to  be  de- 
stroyed, and  every  trace  of  the  whole  affair  to  be  buried  in 

For  some  years  rumors  had  been  current  of  corruption  in 
the  administration  of  military  promotion  under  the  Duke  of 
York,  just  as  for  some  time  past  rumors  have  been  current 
of  abuse  of  patronage  under  his  Royal  Highness  the  present 
Duke  of  Cambridge,  A  Major  Hogan,  in  1808,  published  a 
declaration  that  he  lost  his  promotion  because  he  had  re- 
fused to  give  the  sum  of  £600  to  the  Duke  of  York's 

On  the  27th  January,  1809,  Colonel  Wardle— who  is 
said  to  have  been  prompted  to  the  course  by  his  Royal 
Highness  the  Duke  of  Kent  —  rose  in  his  place  in  the  House 
of  Commons,  and  formally  charged  his  Royal  Highness 
Frederick  Duke  of  York  with  corruption  in  the  adminis- 
tration of  army  patronage. 


It  is  difficult  to  determine  how  far  credit  should  be  given 
to  the  statements  of  Mrs.  Clarke,  who  positively  alleges 
that  she  was  bribed  to  betray  the  Duke  of  York  by  his 
brother,  the  Duke  of  Kent,  the  father  of  her  present 
Majesty.  It  is  quite  certain  that  Major  Dodd,  the  private 
secretary  of  the  Duke  of  Kent,  was  most  active  in  collect- 
ing and  marshalling  the  evidence  in  support  of  the  various 
charges  made  in  the  Commons  against  the  Duke  of  York. 
The  Duke  of  Kent,  however,  after  the  whole  business  was 
over,  formally  and  officially  denied  that  he  was  directly  or 
indirectly  mixed  up  in  the  business.  It  is  clear  that  much 
bitter  feeling  had  for  some  time  existed  between  the  Dukes 
of  York  and  Kent.  In  a  pamphlet  published  about  that 
time,  we  find  the  following  remarkable  passages  relating  to 
the  Duke  of  Kent's  removal  from  his  military  command  at 
Gibraltar :  —  "It  is,  however,  certain  that  the  creatures 
whom  we  could  name,  and  who  are  most  in  his  [the  Duke  of 
York's]  confidence,  were,  to  a  man,  instructed  and  indus- 
triously employed  in  traducing  the  character  and  well- 
merited  fame  of  the  Duke  of  Kent,  by  misrepresenting  his 
conduct  with  all  the  baseness  of  well-trained  sycophants. 
Moreover,  we  need  not  hesitate  in  saying  that  this  efficient 
Commander-in-Chief,  contrary  to  the  real  sentiments  of  his 
Majesty,  made  use  of  his  truly  dangerous  and  undue  influ- 
ence with  the  confidential  servants  of  the  Crown  to  got  his 
brother  recalled  from  the  Government  of  Gibraltar,  under 
a  disingenous  pretext,  and  at  a  risk  of  promoting  sedition 
in  the  army." 

In  another  pamphlet,  dated  1808,  apparently  printed  on 
behalf  of  the  Duke  of  Kent,  we  find  it  suggested  that  the 
Duke  of  York  had  used  Sir  Hew  Dalrymple  as  a  spy  on  his 
brother  the  Duke  of  Kent  at  Gibraltar.  Whether  the 
Duke  of  York  slandered  the  Duke  of  Kent,  and  whether 
the  Queen's  father  revenged  himself  by  getting  up  the  case 


for  Colonel  Wardle,  others  must  decide.  The  following 
extracts  from  this  gentleman's  address  to  the  House  of 
Commons  are  sufficient  to  put  the  material  points  before 
our  readers :  — 

"  In  the  year  1803,  his  Royal  Highness  the  Commander- 
in-Chief  took  a  handsome  house,  set  up  a  full  retinue  of 
servants  and  horses,  and  also  a  lady  of  the  name  of  Clarke. 
Captain  Tonyn,  of  the  48th  Regiment,  was  introduced  by 
Captain  Sandon,  of  the  Ro}*al  Wagon  Train,  to  this  Mrs. 
Clarke,  and  it  was  agreed  that,  upon  his  being  promoted  to 
the  majority  of  the  31st  Regiment,  he  should  pay  her  £500. 
The  £500  lodged  with  Mr.  Donovan  by  Captain  Sandon, 
was  paid  by  him  to  Mrs.  Clarke.  The  difference  between 
a  company  and  a  majority  is  £1,100;  this  lady  received 
only  £500,  while  the  half-pay  fund  lost  the  whole  sum,  for 
the  purpose  of  putting  £500  into  the  pocket  of  Mrs. 
Clarke.  This  £500  was  paid  by  Mrs.  Clarke  to  Mr.  Per- 
kins, a  silversmith,  in  part  payment  for  a  service  of  plate ; 
that  the  Commander-in-Chief  made  good  the  remainder, 
and  that  the  goods  were  sent  to  his  house  in  Gloucester 
Place.  From  this  I  infer,  first,  that  Mrs.  Clarke  possesses 
the  power  of  military  promotion ;  secondly,  that  she 
received  a  pecuniary  consideration  for  such  promotion ; 
and  thirdly,  that  the  Commander-in-Chief  was  a  partaker 
in  the  benefit  arising  from  such  transactions.  In  this  case, 
there  are  no  less  than  five  different  persons  as  witnesses, 
viz.,  Major  Tonyn,  Mrs.  Clarke,  Mr.  Donovan,  Captain 
Sandon,  and  the  executor  of  Mr.  Perkins,  the  silversmith. 

"  The  next  instance  is  of  Lieutenant  Colebrook,  of  the 
56th  Regiment.  It  was  agreed  that  Mrs.  Clarke  should 
receive  £200  upon  Lieutenant  Colebrook's  name  appearing 
in  the  Gazette^  for  promotion.  At  that  moment,  this 
lady  was  anxious  to  go  on  an  excursion  into  the  country, 
and  she  stated  to  his  Royal  Highness  that  she  had  an 

THE    HOUSE    OF  BRVNSinCK.  Ill 

opportunity  of  getting  £200  to  defray  the  expenses  of  it, 
without  applying  to  him.  This  was  stated  upon  a  Thurs- 
day, and  on  the  Saturday  following,  this  officer's  na*me 
appeared  in  the  Gazette,  and  he  was  accordingly  pro- 
moted ;  upon  which  Mr.  Tuck  waited  on  the  lady  and  paid 
her  the  money.  To  this  transaction  the  witnesses  are 
Lieutenant  Colebrook,  Mr.  Tuck,  and  Mrs.  Clarke." 

After  instancing  further  cases,  Colonel  Wardle  stated 
that : — 

"  At  this  very  hour  there  is  a  public  office  in  the  cit}7 
where  commissions  are  still  offered  at  the  reduced  prices 
which  Mrs.  Clarke  chooses  to  exact  for  them.  The  agents 
there  have  declared  to  me  that  they  are  now  employed  by 
the  present  favorite,  Mrs.  Carey.  They  have  not  only 
declared  this  as  relative  to  military  commissions,  but  they 
have  carried  it  much  farther ;  for,  in  addition  to  commis- 
sions in  the  army,  places  of  all  descriptions,  both  in 
Church  and  State,  are  transacted  at  their  office ;  and  these 
agents  do  not  hesitate  to  give  it  under  their  own  hands, 
that  they  are  employed  by  many  of  the  first  officers  in  his 
Majesty's  service." 

On  the  examination  of  witnesses,  and  general  inquiry, 
which  lasted  seven  weeks,  the  evidence  was  overwhelming ; 
but  the  Duke  of  York,  having  written  a  letter,  pledged  his 
honor  as  a  Prince  that  he  was  innocent,  was  acquitted, 
although  at  least  one  hundred  and  twelve  members  of  Par- 
liament voted  for  a  verdict  of  condemnation.  In  the 
course  of  the  debate  Lord  Temple  said  that  "  he  found  the 
Duke  of  York  deeply  criminal  in  allowing  this  woman  to 
interfere  in  his  official  duties.  The  evidence  brought  for- 
ward by  accident  furnished  convincing  proofs  of  this 
crime.  It  was  evident  in  French's  lev}r.  It  was  evident 
in  the  case  of  Dr.  O'Meara,  this  minister  of  purity,  this 
mirror  of  virtue,  who,  professing  a  call  from  God,  could  so 

112  THE   HOUSE    OF 

far  debase  himself,  so  far  abuse  his  sacred  vocation,  as  to 
solicit  a  recommendation  from  such  a  person  as  Mrs. 
Clarke,  by  which,  with  an  eye  to  a  bishopric,  he  obtained 
an  opportunity  of  preaching  before  tho  King.  "What  could 
be  said  in  justification  of  his  Royal  Highness  for  allowing 
this  hypocrite  to  come  down  to  Weymouth  under  a  patron- 
age, unbecoming  his  duty,  rank,  and  situation  ?  " 

Mr.  Tierney  —  in  reply  to  a  taunt  of  the  Chancellor  of 
the  Exchequer,  that  Colonel  Wardle  had  been  tutored  by 
"  cooler  heads  "  —  said :  "  He  would  state  that  the  Duke 
of  York  had  got  his  letter  drawn  up  by  weaker  heads  ;  he 
would,  indeed,  add  something  worse,  if  it  were  not  unpar- 
liamentary to  express  it.  The  Duke- of  York  was,  he  was 
persuaded,  too  manly  to  subscribe  that  letter,  if  he  were 
aware  of  the  base,  unworthy,  and  mean  purposes  to  which 
it  was  to  be  applied.  It  was  easy  to  conceive  that  his 
Royal  Highness  would  have  been  prompt  to  declare  his 
innocence  upon  a  vital  point ;  but  why  declare  it  upon  the 
'honor  of  a  Prince,'  for  the  thing  had  no  meaning?" 

Mr.  Lyttleton  declared  that  "  if  it  were  in  the  power 
of  the  House  to  send  down  to  posterity  the  character 
of  the  Duke  of  York  unsullied  —  if  their  proceedings  did 
not  extend  beyond  their  journals,  he  should  be  almost 
inclined  to  concur  in  the  vote  of  acquittal,  even  in  opposi- 
tion to  his  sense  of  duty.  But  though  the  House  should 
acquit  his  Royal  Highness,  the  proofs  would  still  remain, 
and  the  public  opinion  would  be  guided  by  them,  and  not 
by  the  decision  of  the  House.  It  was  in  the  power  of  the 
House  to  save  its  own  character,  but  not  that  of  the 

It  is  alleged  that  the  Queen  herself  by  no  means  stood 
with  clean  hands  ;  that  in  connection  with  Lady  Jersey  and 
a  Doctor  Randolph,  her  Majesty  realized  an  enormous  sum 
by  the  sale  of  cadetships  for  the  East  Indies. 


On  the  31st  Ma}-,  1810,  London  was  startled  by  the  nar- 
rative of  a  terrible  tragedy.  His  Royal  Highness  Ernest 
Augustus,  Duke  of  Cumberland,  afterwards  King  of  Han- 
over, and  who,  while  King  of  Hanover,  drew  £24,000  a 
year  from  the  pockets  of  English  taxpayers,  was  wounded 
in  his  own  room  in  the  dead  of  night,  by  some  man  whom  he 
did  not  see,  although  the  room  was  lighted  by  a  lamp,  and 
although  his  Royal  Highness  saw  "  a  letter  "  which  lay  on 
a  night  table,  and  which  letter  was  "covered  with  blood." 
The  wounds  are  said  to  have  been  sword  wounds  inflicted 
with  an  intent  to  assassinate,  by  Joseph  Sellis,  a  valet  of 
the  Duke,  who  is  also  said  to  have  immediately  afterwards 
committed  suicide  by  cutting  his  own  throat.  General  Sir  B. 
Stephenson,  who  saw  the  body  of  Sellis,  but  who  was  not 
examined  at  the  inquest,  swore  that  "  the  head  was  nearly 
severed  from  the  body."  Sellis's  cravat  had  been  cut 
through  and  taken  off  his  neck.  Sir  Everard  Home  and 
Sir  Henry  Halford  were  the  physicians  present  at  St. 
James's  Palace  the  day  of  this  tragedy,  and  two  surgeons 
were  present  at  the  inquest,  but  no  medical  or  surgical 
evidence  was  taken  as  to  whether  or  not  the  death  of  Sellis 
was  the  result  of  suicide  or  murder ;  but  a  cheesemonger 
was  called  to  prove  that  twelve  years  before  he  had  heard 
Sellis  say,  "  Damn  the  King  and  the  Royal  Family  ; "  and 
a  maid  servant  was  called  to  prove  that  fourteen  years 
before  Sellis  had  said,  "  Damn  the  Almighty."  Despite 
this  conclusive  evidence,  many  horrible  rumors  were  cur- 
rent, which,  at  the  time,  were  left  uncontradicted ;  but  on 
the  17th  April,  1832,  his  Royal  Highness  the  Duke  of  Cum- 
berland made  an  affidavit  in  which  he  swore  that  he  had  not 
murdered  Sellis  himself,  and  that  "  in  case  the  said  person 
named  Sellis  did  not  die  by  his  own  hands,"  then  that  he, 
the  Duke,  "  was  not  any  way,  in  any  manner,  privy  or 
accessory  to  his  death."  His  Royal  Highness  also  swore 


that  "  he  never  did  commit,  nor  had  any  intention  of  com- 
mitting, the  detestable  crime,"  which  it  had  pretended 
Sellis  had  discovered  the  Duke  in  the  act  of  committing. 
This  of  course  entirely  clears  the  Queen's  uncle  from  all 
suspicion.  Daniel  O'Connell,  indeed,  described  him  as 
"  the  mighty  great  liar ;  "  but  with  the  general  character 
for  truthfulness  of  the  family,  it  would  be  in  the  highest 
degree  improper  to  suggest  even  the  semblance  of  a  doubt. 
It  was  proved  upon  the  inquest  that  Sellis  was  a  sober, 
quiet  man,  in  the  habit  of  daily  shaving  the  Duke,  and  that 
he  had  never  exhibited  any  suicidal  or  homicidal  tenden- 
cies. It  therefore  appears  that  he  tried  to  wound  or  kill 
his  Eoyal  Highness  without  any  motive,  and  under  circum- 
stances in  which  he  knew  discovery  was  inevitable,  and 
that  he  then  killed  himself  with  a  razor,  cutting  his  head 
almost  off  his  body,  severing  it  to  the  bone.  When  Mat- 
thew Henry  Graslin  first  saw  the  body,  he  "  told  them  all 
that  Sellis  had  been  murdered,"  and  although  he  was  called 
on  the  inquest  he  does  not  say  one  word  as  to  the  condition 
of  Sellis's  body,  or  as  to  whether  or  not  he  believes  it  to 
have  been  a  suicide.  Of  all  the  persons  who  saw  the  body 
of  Sellis,  and  they  appear  to  be  many,  only  one,  a  sergeant 
in  the  Coldstreams,  gave  the  slightest  evidence  as  to  the 
state  in  which  the  body  was  found,  and  no  description 
whatever  was  given,  on  the  inquest,  of  the  nature  of  the 
fearful  wound  which  had  nearly  severed  Sellis's  head  from 
his  body  ;  nor,  although  it  was  afterwards  proved  by  sworn 
evidence  that  Sellis's  cravat  "  was  cut  through  the  whole 
of  the  folds,  and  the  inside  fold  was  tinged  with  blood," 
was  any  evidence  offered  as  to  this  on  the  inquest,  although 
it  shows  that  Sellis  must  have  first  tried  to  cut  his  throat 
through  his  cravat  and  that  having  partially  but  ineffect- 
ively cut  his  throat,  he  then  took  off  his  cravat  and  gave 
himself  with  tremendous  force  the  gash  which  caused  his 


death.  It  is  said  that  the  razor  with  which  Sellis  killed 
himself  was  found  two  feet  from  the  bed,  and  on  the  left- 
hand  side ;  but  although  it  was  stated  that  Sellis  was  a 
left-handed  man,  no  evidence  was  offered  of  this,  and  on 
the  contrary,  the  bloocty  hand  marks,  said  to  have  been 
made  by  Sellis  on  the  doors,  were  all  on  the  right  hand. 
It  is  a  great  nuisance  when  people  you  are  mixed  up  with 
commit  suicide.  Undoubtedly,  Sellis  must  have  killed  him- 
self. The  journals  tell  us  how  Lord  Graves  killed  himself 
long  years  afterward.  The  Duke  of  Cumberland  and  Lady 
Graves,  the  widow,  rode  out  together  very  shortly  after  the 

In  the  Rev.  Erskine  Neale's  Life  of  the  Duke  of  Kent  it 
is  stated  that  a  surgeon  of  note,  who  saw  Sellis  after  his 
death,  declared  that  there  were  several  wounds  on  the  back 
of  the  neck  which  it  was  physically  impossible  Sellis  could 
have  self-inflicted.  In  a  lecture  to  his  pupils  the  surgeon 
repeated  this  in  strong  language,  declaring  that  "  no  man 
can  behead  himself." 

The  madness  of  George  III.  having  become  too  violent 
and  too  continual  to  permit  it  to  be  any  longer  hidden  from 
the  people,  the  Prince  of  Wales  was,  in  1811,  declared 
Regent,  with  limited  powers,  and  £70,000  a  year  additional 
was  voted  for  the  Regent's  expenses,  and  a  further  £10,000 
a  year  also  granted  to  the  Queen  as  custodian  of  her  hus- 
band. The  grant  to  the  Queen  was  the  more  outrageous, 
as  her  great  wealth  and  miserly  conduct  were  well  known. 
When  the  Regent  was  first  appointed,  he  authorized  the 
Chancellor  of  the  Exchequer  to  declare  officially  to  the 
House  of  Commons,  that  he  would  riot  add  to  the  burdens 
of  the  nation;  and  yet,  in  1812,  the  allowance  voted  was 
made  retrospective,  so  as  to  include  every  hour  of  his  office. 

In  the  discussion  in  Parliament  on  the  proposed  Regency, 
it  appeared  that  the  people  had  been  for  a  considerable 

116  THE    HOUSE    OF   BltUNSWICK. 

period  utterly  deceived  on  the  subject  of  the  King's  illness  ; 
and  that,  although  his  Majesty  had  been  for  some  time 
blind,  deaf,  and  delirious,  the  Ministry,  representing  the 
King  to  be  competent,  had  dared  to  carry  on  the  Govern- 
ment whilst  George  III.  was  in  every  sense  incapaci- 
tated. It  is  worthy  of  notice,  that  the  Right  Honorable 
Benjamin  Disraeli,  the  leader  of  the  great  Conservative 
party  in  this  country,  publicly  declared  on  September  26th, 
1871,  that  her  present  Majestry,  Queen  Victoria,  was  both 
"physically  and  morally"  incapable  of  performing  her 
regal  functions.  One  advantage  of  having  the  telegraph 
wires  in  the  hands  of  Government  is  shown  by  the  fact  that 
all  the  telegraphic  summaries  omitted  the  most  momentous 
words  of  Mr.  Disraeli's  speech.  During  the  debate  in  the 
session  of  1811,  it  was  shown  that  when  the  King  was  mad 
in  the  month  of  March,  1804,  he  had  on  the  4th  been  repre- 
sented by  Lord  Eldon  as  if  he  had  given  his  assent  to  a  bill 
granting  certain  lands  to  the  Duke  of  York,  and  on  the  9th 
as  if  he  had  signed  a  commission. 

Earl  Grey  stated  that  it  was  notorious  that  on  two  occa- 
sions the  Great  Seal  had  been  employed  as  if  by  his  Maj- 
esty's command,  while  he  was  insane.  The  noble  earl  also 
declared  that,  in  1801,  the  King  was  mad  for  some  weeks, 
and  yet  during  that  time  councils  were  held,  members 
sworn  to  it,  and  acts  done  requiring  the  King's  sanction. 
Sir  Francis  Burdett  said,  "  that  to  have  a  person  at  the 
head  of  affairs  who  had  long  been  incapable  of  signing  his 
name  to  a  document  without  some  one  to  guide  his  hand ; 
a  person  long  incapable  of  receiving  petitions,  of  even 
holding  a  levee,  or  discharging  the  most  ordinary  functions 
of  his  office,  and  now  afflicted  with  this  mental  malady, 
was  a  most  mischievous  example  to  the  people  of  this 
country,  while  it  had  a  tendency  to  expose  the  Government 
to  the  contempt  of  foreign  nations." 


One  of  the  earliest  acts  of  the  Prince  Regent  was  to  re- 
appoint  his  brother,  the  Duke  of  York,  to  the  office  of 
Comrnander-in-Chief.  A  motion  was  proposed  by  Lord 
Milton,  in  the  House  of  Commons,  declaring  this  appoint- 
ment to  be  "  highly  improper  and  indecorous."  The  Min- 
istry were,  however,  sufficiently  powerful  to  negative  this 
resolution  by  a  large  majority.  Though  His  Royal  High- 
ness had  resigned  his  high  office  when  assailed  with  charges 
of  the  grossest  corruption,  he  was  permitted  to  resume  the 
command  of  the  army  without  even  a  protest,  save  from  a 
minority  of  the  House  of  Commons,  and  from  a  few  of  the 
unrepresented  masses.  The  chief  mistress  of  the  Prince 
Regent  at  this  time  was  the  Marchioness  of  Hertford  ;  and 
the  Courier,  then  the  ministerial  journal,  had  the  cool  im- 
pudence to  speak  of  her  as  "Britain's  guardian  angel,' 
because  her  influence  had  been  used  to  hinder  the  carrying 
any  measure  for  the  relief  of  the  Irish  Catholics.  Amongst 
the  early  measures  under  the  Regency,  was  the  issue  in 
Ireland  of  a  circular  letter  addressed  to  the  Sheriffs  and 
Lord  Lieutenants  of  the  counties,  forbidding  the  meetings 
of  Catholics,  and  threatening  all  Catholic  committees  with 
arrest  and  imprisonment.  This,  however,  was  so  grossly 
illegal,  that  it  had  shortly  after  to  be  abandoned,  a  Protes- 
tant jury  having  refused  to  convict  the  first  prisoners 
brought  to  trial.  It  is  curious  to  read  the  arguments 
against  Catholic  Emancipation  pleaded  in  the  Courier,  one 
being  that  during  the  whole  of  his  reign,  George  III.  "  is 
known  to  have  felt  the  most  conscientious  and  irrevocable 
objections  "  to  any  such  measure  of  justice  to  his  unfortu- 
nate Irish  subjects. 

In  1812  we  had  much  poverty  in  England ;  aud  though 
this  was  not  dealt  with  by  Parliament,  £100,000  was 
granted  to  Lord  Wellington,  and  £200,000  voted  for  Rus- 
sian sufferers  by  the  French  war.  We  had  a  few  months 

118  THE    HOUSE    OF    BRUNSWICK. 

previously  voted  £100,000  for  the  relief  of  the  Portuguese 
against  the  French.  On  a  message  from  the  Prince  Regent, 
annuities  of  £9,000  each  were  also  granted  to  the  four 
Princesses,  exclusive  of  £4,000  from  the  Civil  List.  The 
message  from  the  Prince  Regent  for  the  relief  of  the  "  Rus- 
sian sufferers"  was  brought  down  on  the  17th  of  Decem- 
ber ;  and  it  is  a  curious  fact  that  while  Lord  Castlereagh 
and  Lord  Liverpool  were  eulogizing  the  Russians  for  their 
"  heroic  patriotism "  in  burning  Moscow,  the  Russians 
themselves  were  declaring  in  the  St.  Petersburgh  Gazette 
that  the  deed  was  actually  committed  by  "  the  impious 
French,"  on  whose  heads  the  Gazette  invoked  the  ven- 
geance of  God. 

In  1812,  the  Prince  Regent  gave  a  sinecure  office,  that  of 
Paymaster  of  Widows'  Pensions,  to  his  "  confidential  ser- 
vant," Colonel  Macmahon.  The  nature  of  the  sort  of  pri- 
vate services  which  had  been  for  some  years  performed  by 
this  gallant  colonel  for  this  virtuous  Prince  may  be  better 
guessed  than  described.  Mr.  Henry  Brougham  declared 
the  appointment  to  be  an  insult  to  Parliament.  It  was 
vigorously  attacked  indoors  and  out  of  doors,  and,  in  obe- 
dience to  the  voice  of  popular  opinion,  the  Commons  voted 
the  immediate  abolition  of  the  office.  To  recompense 
Colonel  Macmahou  for  the  loss  of  his  place,  he  was  imme- 
diate^ appointed  Keeper  of  the  Privy  Purse  and  Private 
Secretary  to  the  Prince  Regent.  This  appointment  was 
also  severely  criticised ;  and  although  the  Government 
were  sufficiently  powerful  to  defeat  the  attack  in  the  Com- 
mons, they  were  yet  compelled,  by  the  strong  protest  made 
by  the  public  against  such  an  improper  appointment,  to 
nominally  transfer  the  salary  to  the  Regent's  privy  purse. 
The  transfer  was  not  real,  as,  the  Civil  List  being  always 
in  debt,  the  nation  had  in  fact  ultimately  to  pay  the  money. 

In  1813,  foreign  subsidies  to  the  amount  of  £11,000,000, 


and  100,000  stand  of  arms,  were  voted  by  the  English  Par- 
liament. Out  of  the  above,  Portugal  received  £2,000,000, 
Sicily,  £400,000,  Spain,  £2,000,000,  Sweden,  £1,000,000, 
Russia  and  Prussia,  £3,000,000,  Austria,  £1,000,000,  besides 
stores  sent  to  Germany  to  the  amount  of  £2,000,000  more. 

This  year  his  Ro}ral  Highness  the  Prince  Regent  went  to 
Ascot  races,  where  he  was  publicly  dunned  by  a  Mr.  Vaux- 
hall  Clarke  for  a  betting  debt  incurred  some  years  before, 
and  left  unpaid. 

Great  excitement  was  created  in  and  out  of  Parliament 
by  the  complaint  of  the  Princess  of  Wales  that  she  was  not 
allowed  to  see-  her  daughter,  the  Princess  Charlotte.  The 
Prince  Regent  formally  declared,  through  the  Speaker  of 
the  House  of  Commons,  that  he  would  not  meet,  on  any 
occasion,  public  or  private,  the  Princess  of  Wales  (whom  it 
was  urged  that  "  he  had  been  forced  to  marry")  ;  while  the 
Princess  of  Wales  wrote  a  formal  letter  to  Parliament  com- 
plaining that  her  character  had  been  "  traduced  by  sub- 
orned perjury."  Princess  Charlotte  refused  to  be  presented 
at  Court  except  by  her  mother,  who  was  not  allo'wed  to  go 
there.  In  the  House  of  Commons,  Mr.  Whitbread  charged 
the  Lords  Commissioners  with  unduly  straining  the  evi- 
dence by  leading  questions  ;  and  Lord  Ellenborough,  in  his 
place  in  the  House  of  Peers,  declared  that  the  accusation 
was  "  as  false  as  hell."  Ultimately,  it  was  admitted  that 
the  grave  charges  against  the  Princess  of  Wales  were 
groundless,  and  £35,000  a  year  was  voted  to  her,  she 
agreeing  to  travel  abroad.  Mr.  Bathurst,  a  sinecurist  pen- 
sioner, pleading  on  behalf  of  the  Prince  Regent  that  the 
House  of  Commons  ought  not  to  interfere,  urged  that  it 
was  no  unusual  thing  to  have  dissensions  in  the  Royal 
Family,  and  that  they  had  been  frequent  in  the  reigns  of 
George  I.  and  George  II.  Mr.  Stuart  Wortley,  in  the 
course  of  a  severe  speech  in  reply  to  Lord  Castlereagh,  de- 


clared  that  "  we  had  a  Royal  Famihr  which  took  no  warn- 
ing from  what  was  said  or  thought  about  them,  and  seemed 
to  be  the  only  persons  in  the  country  who  were  wholly 
regardless  of  their  own  welfare  and  respectability." 

The  Princess  Charlotte  of  Wales  was  at  this  time  resid- 
ing in  Warwick  House,  and  some  curiosity  was  aroused  by 
the  dismissal,  by  order  of  the  Prince  Regent,  of  all  her 
servants.  This  was  immediatel}'  followed  by  the  flight  of 
the  Princess  from  the  custod}*  of  her  father  to  the  residence 
of  her  mother,  the  Princess  of  Wales.  Persuaded  to 
return  to  the  Prince  Regent  by  her  mother,  Lord  Eldon, 
and  others,  she  appears  to  have  been  really  detained  as  a 
sort  of  prisoner,  for  we  find  the  Duke  of  Sussex  soon  after 
complaining  in  the  House  of  Lords  that  he  was  unable  to 
obtain  access  to  the  Princess,  and  asking  by  whose  author- 
ity she  was  kept  in  durance.  Happy  family,  these  Bruns- 
wicks ! 

In  1814,  £100,000  further  was  devoted  to  the  Duke  of 
Wellington,  together  with  an  annuity  of  £10,000  a  year,  to 
be  at  any  time  commuted  for  £300,000.  The  income  of  the 
Duke  of  Wellington,  from  places,  pensions,  and  grants, 
amounted  to  an  enormous  sum.  At  present  we  pay  his 
heir  £4*000  a  year  for  having  inherited  his  father's  riches. 

During  the  year  1814,  £118,857  was  voted  for  payment 
of  the  Civil  List  debts. 

The  Emperor  of  Russia  and  King  of  Prussia,  after  the 
restoration  of  Louis  XVIII.,  visited  the  Prince  Regent  in 
this  country,  when  the  following  squib  was  published :  — 

"  There  be  princes  three, 
Two  of  them  come  from  a  far  countrie, 
And  for  valor  and  prudence  their  names  shall  be 
Enrolled  in  the  annals  of  glorie. 
The  third  is  said  at  a  bottle  to  be 
More  than  a  match  for  his  whole  armie, 


And  fonder  of  fur  caps  and  fripperie 
Than  any  recorded  in  storie. 
Those  from  the  North  great  warriors  be, 
And  warriors  have  in  their  companie, 
But  he  of  the  South  must  stare  to  see      , 
Himself  in  such  goodly  companie. 
For  to  say  what  his  usual  consorts  be, 
Would  make  but  a  pitiful  storie." 

On  the  12th  of  August,  1814,  the  Princess  of  "Wales 
quitted  England,  and  it  is  alleged  that,  on  the  evening 
prior  to  her  departure,  the  Prince  Regent,  having  as  usual 
drank  much  wine,  proposed  a  toast,  "  To  the  Princess  of 
Wales'  damnation,  and  may  she  never  return  to  England." 
Whether  this  story,  which  Dr.  Doran  repeats,  be  true  or 
false,  it  is  certain  that  the  Prince  Regent  hated  his  wife 
with  a  thoroughly  merciless  hatred.  When  the  death  of 
Napoleon  was  known  in  Ennland,  a  gentleman,  thinking  to 
gain  favor  with  George  IV.,  said,  "  Your  Majesty's  bitter- 
est enemy  is  dead."  The  "first  gentleman  of  Europe" 
thought  only  of  his  wife,  and  replied,  "  Is  she,  by  God  ! " 

The  highly  esteemed  and  virtuous  Duke  of  Cumberland 
was  married  at  Berlin  to  the  Princess  of  Salms,  a  widow 
who  had  been  twice  married,  once  betrothed,  and  once 
divorced.  The  lady  was  niece  to  the  Queen  of  England, 
who  refused  to  receive  her  publicly  or  privately.  On  this 
refusal  being  known,  a  letter  was  published  in  the  news- 
papers, written  and  signed  by  the  Queen  herself,  to  her 
brother  the  Duke  of  Mecklenburgh-Strelitz,  the  father  of  the 
bride,  in  which  letter  the  Queen  gave  assurances  of  a  kind 
reception  to  the  bride  on  her  arrival  in  England.  The 
Queen's  friends  replied  that  the  Queen's  letter  was  only 
written  to  be  shown  to  the  German  Courts  on  the  condition 
that  the  Duchess  should  not  come  to  England.  Curious 


notions  of  truth  and  honor  seem  current  among  these 
Brunswicks ! 

On  the  27th  of  June,  the  Lords,  on  a  message  from  the 
Prince  Regent,  voted  an  additional  allowance  of  £6,000  a 
year  to  the  Duke  of  Cumberland  in  consequence  of  the 
marriage.  In  the  House  of  Commons,  after  a  series  of 
very  warm  debates,  in  which  Lord  Castlereagh  objected  to 
answer  "  any  interrogatories  tending  to  vilify  the  Royal 
Family,"  the  House  ultimately  refused  to  grant  the  allow- 
ance by  126  votes  against  125. 

One  historian  says :  "  The  demeanor  of  the  Duchess  of 
Cumberland  in  this  country  has  been,  to  say  the  least, 
unobtrusive  and  unimpeached;  but  it  must  be  confessed 
that  a  disastrous  fatality  —  something  inauspicious  and 
indescribable  —  attaches  to  the  Prince,  her  husband. 

This  year  £200,000  further  was  voted  to  the  Duke  of 
Wellington,  for  the  purchase  of  an  estate,  although  it 
appeared  from  one  Member  of  Parliament's  speech  that  the 
vote  should  rather  have  been  to  the  Prince  Regent. 
"Who,"  he  asked,  "  had  rendered  the  army  efficient?  The 
Prince  Regent  —  by  restoring  the  Duke  of  York  to  the 
Horse  Guards.  Who  had  gained  the  Battle  of  Waterloo  ? 
The  Prince  Regent  —  by  giving  the  command  of  the  army 
to  the  Duke  of  Wellington ! !  "  The  Prince  Regent  him- 
self had  even  a  stronger  opinion  on  the  matter.  Thacke- 
ray says :  "•  I  believe  it  is  certain  about  George  IV.  that  he 
had  heard  so  much  of  the  war,  knighted  so  many  people, 
and  worn  such  a  prodigious  quantity  of  marshal's  uni- 
forms, cocked  hats,  cocks'  feathers,  scarlet  and  bullion  in 
general,  that  he  actually  fancied  he  had  been  present  at 
some  campaigns,  and  under  the  name  of  General  Brock  led 
a  tremendous  charge  of  the  German  legion  at  Waterloo." 

In  181 6,  Prince  Leopold  of  Coburg  Saalfeld,  a  very  petty 
German  Prince,  without  estate  or  position,  married  the 



Princess  Charlotte  of  Wales,  as  if  he  were  a  Protestant,  al- 
though he  most  certainly  on  other  occasions  acted  as  if  he 
belonged  to  the  Catholic  Church.  A  grant  of  £60,000  a 
year  was  made  to  the  royal  couple  ;  £60,000  was  given  for 
the  wedding  outfit,  and  £50,000  secured  to  Prince  Leopold 
for  life,  in  the  event  of  his  surviving  the  Princess.  And 
although  this  was  done,  it  was  well  known  to  the  Prince  Re- 
gent and  the  members  of  the  Government,  that  on  the  2d 
January  of  the  previous  year,  a  marriage  ceremony,  accord- 
ing to  the  rites  of  the  Roman  Catholic  Church,  had  been 
performed,  by  which  the  Prince  Leopold  was  united  to  the 
Countess  of  Cohaky.  Bigamy  appears  to  be  a  fashionable 
vice,  and  one  to  which  these  Bruns wicks  never  raise  any 

On  the  9th  December,  the  City  of  London  presented  an 
address  to  the  Prince  Regent,  in  which  they  complained  of 
"  immense  subsidies  to  foreign  powers  to  defend  their  own 
territories,  or  to  commit  aggressions  on  those  of  their  neigh- 
bors," of  an  unconstitutional  and  unprecedented  military 
force  in  time  of  peace,  of  the  unexampled  and  increasing 
magnitude  of  the  Civil  List,  of  the  enormous  sums  paid  for 
unmerited  pensions  and  sinecures,  and  of  a  long  course  of 
the  most  lavish  and  improvident  expenditure  of  the  public 
money  throughout  every  branch  of  the  Government."  This 
address  appears  to  have  deeply  wounded  the  Regent,  and 
the  expressions  of  stern  rebuke  he  used  in  replying,  coupled 
with  a  rude  sulkiness  of  mannex,  were  ungracious  and  un- 
warrantable. He  emphasized  his  answer  with  pauses  and 
frowns,  and  turned  on  his  heel  as  soon  as  he  had  delivered 
it.  And  yet  at  this  moment  hundreds  of  thousands  in 
England  were  starving.  Kind  monarchs  these  Bruns- 
wicks ! 

Early  in  1817,  the  general  distress  experienced  in  all 
parts  of  England,  and  which  had  been  for  some  time  on  the 


increase,  was  of  a  most  severe  character.  Meetings  in 
London  and  the  provinces  grew  frequent,  and  were  most 
numerously  attended,  and  on  February  3d,  in  consequence 
of  a  message  from  the  Prince  Regent,  Committees  of 
Secrecy  were  appointed  by  the  Lords  and  Commons,  to  in- 
quire into  the  character  of  the  various  movements.  The 
Government  was  weak  and  corrupt,  but  the  people  lacked 
large-minded  leaders,  and  the  wide-spread  discontent  of  the 
masses  of  the  population  rendered  some  of  their  number 
easy  victims  to  the  police  spies  who  manufactured  political 

On  the  6th  of  November,  1817,  Princess  Charlotte  of 
Wales  died.  Complaints  were  raised  that  the  Princess  had 
not  been  fairly  treated,  and  some  excitement  was  created  by 
the  fact  that  Sir  Richard  Croft,  the  doctor  who  attended  her, 
soon  after  committed  suicide,  and  that  the  public  and  the 
reporters  were  not  allowed  to  be  present  at  the  inquest.  No 
notice  whatever  of  the  Princess's  death  was  forwarded  to 
her  mother,  the  Princess  of  Wales.  In  a  letter  to  the  Duke 
of  Buckingham,  Mr.  Wynn  speaks  of  this  as  "  the  most 
brutal  omission  I  ever  remember,  and  one  which  would 
attach  disgrace  in  private  life."  At  this  very  time  a  large 
sum  of  money  was  being  wasted  in  the  employment  of  per- 
sons to  watch  the  Princess  of  Wales  on  her  foreign  travels. 
In  her  correspondence  we  find  the  Princess  complaining  that 
her  letters  were  opened  and  read,  and  that  she  was  sur- 
rounded with  spies.  From  the  moment  that  George  III. 
was  declared  incurable,  and  his  death  approaching,  there 
seems  little  doubt  that  desperate  means  were  resorted  to  to 
manufacture  evidence  against  the  Princess  to  warrant  a 

On  July  13th,  1818,  Ms  Royal  Highness  the  Duke  of 
Clarence  married  Adelaide,  Princess  of  Saxe  Meiningen, 
and  his  Royal  Highness  the  Duke  of  Kent  married  her 


Serene  Highness  Victoria,  Princess  of  Leiningen.  The 
Duke  of  Clarence,  of  course,  had  voted  to  him  an  additional 
allowance  of  £6,000  a  year  on  entering  the  married  state, 
although  he  was  already  receiving  from  the  country  more 
than  £21,000  a  year  in  cash,  and  a  house  rent  free.  It  is 
highly  edifying  to  read  that  during  the  debates  in  Par- 
liament, and  when  some  objection  was  raised  to  the  extra 
sums  proposed  to  be  voted  to  one  of-  the  Royal  Dukes,  Mr. 
Canning  pleaded,  as  a  reason  for  the  payment,  that  his 
Royal  Highness  was  not  marrying  "  for  his  own  private 
gratification,  but  because  he  had  been  advised  to  do  so  for 
the  political  purposes  of  providing  succession  to  the  throne." 
Pleasant  this  for  the  lady,  and  glorious  for  the  country — 
Royal  breeding  machines !  The  Duke  of  Kent,  who  had 
the  same  additional  vote,  had  about  £25,000  a  year,  besides 
a  grant  of  £20,000  towards  the  payment  of  his  debts,  and 
a  loan  of  £6,000  advanced  in  1806,  of  which  up  to  the  time 
of  his  marriage  only  £1,000  had  been  repaid. 

Of  Edward  Augustus,  Duke  of  Kent,  father  of  her  present 
Majesty,  it  is  only  necessary  to  say  a  few  words.  The 
fourth  son  of  George  III.  was  somewhat  better  than  his 
brothers,  and  perhaps  for  this  very  reason  he  seems  always 
to  have  been  disliked,  and  kept  at  a  distance  by  his  father, 
mother,  and  brothers.  Nor  was  the  Duke  of  Kent  less  dis- 
liked amongst  the  army,  which  he  afterwards  commanded. 
Very  few  of  the  officers  loved  him,  and  the  bulk  of  the 
privates  seem  to  have  regarded  him  with  the  most  hostile 
feelings.  Kept  very  short  of  money  by  his  miserly  father 
and  mother,  he  had,  even  before  bis  majority,  incurred 
considerable  debts ;  and  coming  to  England  in  1790,  in 
order  to  try  and  induce  the  King  to  make  him  some  suffi- 
cient allowance,  he  was  ordered  to  quit  England  in  ten  days. 
While  allowances  were  made  to  all  the  other  sons  of  George, 
the  Duke  of  Kent  had  no  Parlimentary  vote  until  he  was 


thirty-three  years  of  age.  In  1802  he  was  appointed  Gov- 
ernor of  Gibraltar,  where  a  mutiny  took  place,  and  the 
Duke  had  a  narrow  escape  of  his  life.  The  Duke  of  Kent's 
friends  allege  that  this  mutiny  was  encouraged  by  officers 
of  the  highest  rank,  secretly  sustained  by  the  Duke  of 
York.  The  Duke  of  York's  friends,  on  the  contrary,  maintain 
that  the  overbearing  conduct  of  the  Duke  of  Kent,  his  severi- 
ty in  details,  and  general  harshness  in  command,  alone  pro- 
duced the  result.  The  Duke  of  Kent  was  recalled  from  the 
Government  of  Gibraltar,  and  for  some  months  the  pamphlet- 
eers were  busy  on  behalf  of  the  two  Dukes,  each  seeking  to 
prove  that  the  royal  brother  of  Ms  royal  client  was  a  dis- 
honorable man.  Pleasant  people,  these  Brunswicks !  If 
either  side  wrote  the  truth,  one  of  the  Dukes  was  a 
rascal.  If  neither  side  wrote  the  truth,  both  were.  The  fol- 
lowing extract  from  a  pamphlet  by  Mary  Anne  Clarke, 
mistress  of  the  Duke  of  York,  will  serve  to  show  the  nature 
of  the  publications  I  refer  to :  "I  believe  there  is  scarcely 
a  military  man  in  the  kingdom  who  was  at  Gibraltar  during 
the  Duke  of  Kent's  command  of  that  fortress  but  is  satisfied 
that  the  Duke  of  York's  refusal  of  a  court  martial  to  his 
royal  brother  afforded  an  incontestible  proof  of  his  regard  for 
the  military  character  and  honor  of  the  Duke  of  Kent ;  for  if 
a  court  martial  had  been  granted  to  the  Governor  of  Gibral- 
tar, I  always  understood  there  was  but  one  opinion  as  to  what 
would  have  been  the  result;  and  then  the  Duke  of  Kent 
would  have  lost  several  thousands  a  year,  and  incurred  such 
public  reflections  that  would,  most  probably,  have  been 
painful  to  his  honorable  and  acute  feelings.  It  was,  how- 
ever, this  act  of  affection  for  the  Duke  of  Kent  that  laid  the 
foundation  of  that  hatred  which  has  followed  the  Com- 
mander-in-Chieif  up  to  the  present  moment ;  and  to  this 
unnatural  feeling  he  is  solely  indebted  for  all  the  misfortunes 
and  disgrace  to  which  he  has  been  introduced.  In  one  of 


the  many  conversations  which  I  had  with  Majors  Dodd  and 
Glennie,  upon  the  meditated  ruin  of  the  Duke  of  York, 
they  informed  me  that  their  royal  friend  had  made  every 
endeavor  in  his  power  to  poison  the  King's  ear  against  the 
Commander-in-Chief,  but  as  Colonel  Taylor  was  so  much 
about  the  person  of  his  Majesty,  all  his  efforts  had  proved 
ineffectual ;  and  to  have  spoken  his  sentiments  before  Colo- 
nel Taylor  would  have  been  very  injudicious,  as  he  would 
immediately  have  communicated  them  to  the  Commander- 
iu-Chief,  who,  though  he  knew  this  time  (  said  these  confi- 
dential and  worthy  patriots )  that  the  Duke  of  Kent  was 
supporting  persons  to  write  against  him,  and  that  some  par- 
liamentary proceedings  were  upon  the  eve  of  bursting  upon 
the  public  attention,  yet  deported  himself  towards  his  royal 
brother  as  if  they  lived  but  for  each  other's  honor  and  hap- 
piness ;  and  the  Duke  of  Kent,  to  keep  up  appearances,  was 
more  particular  in  his  attentions  to  the  Duke  of  York  than 
he  had  ever  been  before." 

Despite  the  Duke  of  Kent's  recall,  he  continued  to  re- 
ceive salary  and  allowances  as  Governor.  After  the  cele- 
bration of  the  marriage,  he  resided  abroad,  and  was  on  such 
unfriendly  terms  with  his  family  that  when  he  returned 
from  Amorbach  to  England,  it  was  against  the  express 
orders  of  the  Prince  Regent,  who,  shortly  after  meeting  his 
brother  at  the  Spanish  Ambassador's,  took  not  the  slightest 
notice  of  him. 

On  the  17th  November,  1818,  the  Queen  died,  and  the 
custody  of  the  body  of  the  mad,  deaf,  and  blind  monarch 
of  England  was  nominally  transferred  to  the  Duke  of  York, 
who  was  voted  an  extra  £10,000  a  year  for  performing  the 
duty  of  visiting  his  royal  father  twice  a  week.  Objection 
was  ineffectually  raised  that  his  Royal  Highness  had  also 
his  income  as  Commander-in-Chief  and  General  Officer, 
and  it  might  have  also  been  added,  his  pensions  and  his 


income  as  Prince  Bishop  of  Osnaburg.  Mr.  Curwen  said : 
"Considering  how  complete  the  revenue  of  his  Eoyal 
Highness  was  from  public  emoluments,  he  could  not  con- 
sent to  grant  him  one  shilling  upon  the  present  occasion." 

In  1819,  the  Duke  of  Kent  tried  to  get  up  a  lottery  for 
the  sale  of  his  Castlebar  estate,  in  order  to  pay  his  debts, 
which  were  then  about  £70,000,  but  the  project,  being  op- 
posed by  the  Prince  Regent,  fell  to  the  ground. 

On  the  24th  of  May,  1819,  her  present  Majesty  was  born  ; 
and  on  the  23d  of  January,  1820,  the  Duke  of  Kent,  her 
father,  died. 

On  the  29th  of  January,  1820,  after  a  sixty  years'  reign  — 
in  which  debt,  dishonor,  and  disgrace  accrued  to  the  nation 
he  reigned  over  —  George  III.  died.  The  National  Debt 
at  the  date  of  his  accession  to  the  throne  was  about 
£150,000,000 ;  at  his  death  it  was  about  £900,000,000. 

Phillimore  asks :  "  Had  it  not  been  for  the  unlimited 
power  of  borrowing,  how  many  unjust  and  capricious  wars 
would  have  been  avoided !  How  different  would  be  our 
condition,  and  the  condition  of  our  posterity !  If  half  the 
sum  lavished  to  prevent  any  one  bearing  the  name  of 
Napoleon  from  residing  in  France,  for  replacing  the  Bour- 
bons on  the  thrones  of  France  and  Naples,  for  giving  Bel- 
gium to  Holland,  Norway  to  Sweden,  Finland  to  Russia, 
Venice  and  Lombardy  to  Austria,  had  been  employed  by 
individual  enterprise,  what  would  now  be  the  resources  of 

An  extract,  giving  Lord  Brougham's  summary  of  George 
ni.'s  life  and  character,  may,  we  think,  fairly  serve  to  close 
this  chapter :  "  Of  a  narrow  understanding,  which  no  cul- 
ture had  enlarged ;  of  an  obstinate  disposition,  which  no 
education  perhaps  could  have  humanized ;  of  strong  feel- 
ings in  ordinary  things,  and  a  resolute  attachment  to  all 
his  own  opinions  and  predilections,  George  IH.  possessed 

THE    HOUSE    OF    BRUNSWICK.  129 

much  of  the  firmness  of  purpose  which,  being  exhibited  by 
men  of  contracted  mind  without  any  discrimination,  and  as 
pertinaciously  when  they  are  in  the  wrong  as  when  they 
are  in  the  right,  lends  to  their  characters  an  appear- 
ance of  inflexible  consistency,  which  is  often  mistaken  for 
greatness  of  mind,  and  not  seldom  received  as  a  substitute 
for  honesty.  In  all  that  related  to  his  kingly  office  he  was 
the  slave  of  deep-rooted  selfishness ;  and  no  feeling  of  a 
kindly  nature  ever  was  allowed  access  to  his  bosom  when- 
ever his  power  was  concerned." 


THE    REIGN    OF     GEOKGE    IV. 

THE  wretched  reign  of  George  IV.  commenced  on  the 
30th  January,  1820.  Mr.  Buckle  speaks  of  "  the  incredible 
baseness  of  that  ignoble  voluptuary  who  succeeded  George 
III.  on  the  throne."  The  coronation  was  delayed  for  a 
considerable  period,  partly  in  consequence  of  the  hostility 
between  the  King  and  his  unfortunate  wife,  and  partly 
because  of  the  cost.  We  find  the  Right  Hon.  Thomas 
Grenville  writing  of  the  coronation :  "  I  think  it  probable 
that  it  will  be  put  off,  because  the  King  will  not  like  it  un- 
less it  be  expensive,  and  Vansittart  knows  not  how  to  pay 
for  it  if  it  is."  Generous  monarchs,  these  Brunswicks ! 
Thousands  at  that  moment  were  in  a  state  of  starvation  in 
England,  Scotland,  and  Ireland.  Lord  Cassilis  writes: 
"There  seems  nothing  but  chaos  and  desolation  whatever 
way  a  man  may  turn  himself  .  .  .  the  lower  orders  existing 
only  from  the  circumstance  of  the  produce  of  the  land 
being  unmarketable.  .  .  The  weavers  are  certainly  em- 
ployed, but  they  cannot  earn  more  than  from  six  to  eight 


shillings  a  week.  Such  is  our  state."  When  the  corona- 
tion did  ultimately  take  place,  some  strange  expenses  crept 
in.  Diamonds  were  charged  for  to  the  extent,  it  is  said, 
of  £80,000,  which  found  their  way  to  one  of  the  King's 
favored  mistresses.  The  crown  itself  was  made  up  with 
hired  jewels,  which  were  kept  for  twenty-one  months  after 
the  coronation,  and  for  the  hire  of  which  alone  the  country 
paid  £11,000.  The  charge  for  coronation  robes  was 
£24,000.  It  was  in  consequence  of  Sir  Benjamin  Bloom- 
field  having  to  account  for  some  of  the  diamonds  purchased 
that  he  resigned  his  position  in  the  King's  household. 
Bather  than  be  suspected  of  dishonesty,  he  preferred 
revealing  that  they  had  reached  the  hands  of  Lady  Co- 
nyngham.  Sir  George  Naylor,  in  an  infamously  servile 
publication,  for  which  book  alone  the  country  paid  £3,000, 
describes  "  the  superb  habiliments  which  his  Majesty,  not 
less  regardful  of  the  prosperity  of  the  people  than  of  the  splen- 
dor of  his  throne,  was  pleased  to  enjoin  should  be  worn  upon 
the  occasion  of  his  Majesty's  sacred  coronation." 

Sir  William  Knighton  declares  that  on  the  news  of  the 
King's  death  reaching  the  Prince  Regent,  "  the  fatal  tidings 
were  received  with  a  burst  of  grief  that  was  very  affecting." 
The  King  had  been  mad  and  blind  and  deaf  for  ten  years, 
and  the  Queen,  years  before,  had  complained  of  the  Prince's 
conduct  as  unfilial,  if  not  inhuman.  With  the  Prince 
Regent's  known  character,  this  sudden  burst  of  grief  is 
really  "  very  affecting." 

On  the  23d  of  February,  London  was  startled  with  the 
news  of  what  since  has  been  described  as  the  Cato  Street 
Conspiracy.  The  trial  of  Arthur  Thistlewood  and  his  mis- 
guided associates  is  valuable  for  one  lesson.  The  man 
who  found  money  for  the  secret  conspirators,  and  who 
incited  them  to  treason  and  murder,  was  one  George 
Edwards.  This  Edwards  was  well  described  by  one  of  the 


journals  of  the  period,  "  as  neither  more  nor  less  than  the 
confidential  agent  of  the  original  conspirators,  to  hire  for 
them  the  treasons  they  have  a  purpose  in  detecting."  By 
original  conspirators  were  meant  Lord  Castlereagh  and 
Lord  Sidmouth.  In  the  House  of  Commons,  Mr.  Alderman 
Wood  moved  formally,  "  That  George  Ed  wards  be  brought 
to  the  bar  of  the  House  on  a  breach  of  privilege.  He 
pledged  himself,  if  he  had  this  incendiary  in  his  hands,  to 
convict  him  of  the  crimes  imputed ;  he  hoped  he  had  not 
been  suffered  to  escape  beyond  seas  ;  otherwise  there  were 
honorable  gentlemen  who  were  in  possession  of  him,  so 
that  he  might  be  produced"  —  meaning  by  this  that  he  was 
kept  out  of  the  way  by  the  Government.  "  He  regarded 
him  as  the  sole  author  and  contriver  of  the  Cato  Street 
plot.  It  was  strange  how  such  a  man  should  be  going 
about  from  public  house  to  public  house,  nay,  from  one 
private  house  to  another,  boldly  and  openly  instigating  to 
such  plots ;  and,  in  the  midst  of  this,  should  become,  from 
abject  poverty,  suddenly  flush  with  money,  providing  arms, 
and  supplying  all  conspirators."  Mr.  Hume  seconded  the 
motion.  "  It  appeared  by  the  depositions,  not  of  one  person 
only,  but  of  a  great  many  persons,  that  the  individual  in 
question  had  gone  about  from  house  to  house  with  hand- 
grenades,  and,  up  to  twentyxfour  hours  only  preceding  the 
23d  of  February,  had  been  unceasingly  urging  persons  to 
join  with  him  in  the  atrocious  plot  to  assassinate  his 
Majesty's  Ministers.  All  of  a  sudden  he  became  quite  rich, 
and  was  buying  arms  in  every  quarter,  at  every  price,  and 
of  every  description ;  still  urging  a  variety  of  persons  to 
unite  with  him.  Now,  it  was  very  fitting  for  the  inteifest?  of 
the  country,  that  the  country  should  know  who  "^J' 

uals  were  who  supplied  him  with  the  money." 
As  a  fair  specimen  of  the  disposition  of 
dealing  with  his  Ministry,  I  give  the  following  extant  from 

132  THE    nOUSE    OF  BRUNSWICK. 

a  memorandum  of  Lord  Chancellor  Eldon,  dated  April  26th, 
1820 :  "  Our  royal  master  seems  to  have  got  into  temper 
again,  so  far  as  I  could  judge  from  his  conversation  with 
me  this  morning.  He  has  been  pretty  well  disposed  to 
part  with  us  all,  because  we  would  not  make  additions  to 
his  revenue.  This  we  thought  conscientiously  we  could 
not  do  in  the  present  state  of  the  country,  and  of  the  dis- 
tresses of  the  middle  and  lower  orders  of  the  people  —  to 
which  we  might  add,  too,  that  of  the  higher  orders.  My 
own  individual  opinion  was  such  that  I  could  not  bring  nay- 
self  to  oppress  the  country  at  present  by  additional  taxa- 
tion for  that  purpose." 

On  the  23d  of  March,  Henry  Hunt,  John  Knight,  Joseph 
Johnson,  Joseph  Healey,  and  Samuel  Bamford  were,  after 
six  days'  trial  at  York,  found  guilty  of  unlawfully  assem- 
bling. Lord  Grenville  feared  that,  if  acquitted,  Peterloo 
might  form  a  terrible  bill  of  indictment  against  the  Minis- 
try. His  Lordship  writes  on  March  29th,  to  the  Marquis 
of  Buckingham :  "  It  would  have  been  a  dreadful  thing  if 
it  had  been  established  by  the  result  of  that  trial  that  the 
Manchester  meeting  was  under  all  its  circumstances  a 
legal  assembly."  His  Lordship  knew  that  the  magistrates 
and  yeomanry  cavalry  might  have  been  indicted  for  murder 
had  the  meeting  been  declared  legal.  Sir  C.  Wolseley  and 
the  Rev.  J.  Harrison  were  at  this  time  being  prosecuted 
for  seditious  speaking,  and  were  ultimately  found  guilty  on 
April  10th.  In  May  the  state  of  the  country  was  terrible ; 
even  Baring,  the  Conservative  banker,  on  May  7th, 
described  the  "  state  of  England "  to  a  full  House  of 
Commons,  "  in  the  most  lamentable  terms."  On  the  8th 
we  find  Mr.  "W.  H.  Fremantle  saying  of  the  King,  "  His 
language  is  only  about  the  Coronation  and  Lady  Conyng- 
ham  [his  then  favorite  sultana]  ;  very  little  of  the  state  of 
the  country."  Early  in  June,  it  being  known  that  Queen 


Caroline  was  about  to  return  to  England,  and  that  she 
intended  to  be  present  at  the  Coronation,  the  King  offered 
her  £50,000  a  year  for  life  to  remain  on  the  Continent,  and 
forbear  from  claiming  the  title  of  Queen  of  England.  This 
Caroline  indignantly  refused.  The  Queen's  name  had,  by 
an  order  in  Council,  and  on  the  King's  direction,  been 
omitted  from  the  Liturgy  as  that  of  a  person  unfit  to  be 
prayed  for,  and  on  the  6th  of  July  a  bill  of  pains  and  penal- 
ties was  introduced  by  Lord  Liverpool,  alleging  adultery 
between  the  Queen  and  one  Bartolomeo  Bergami.  To 
wade  through  the  mass  of  disgusting  evidence  offered  by 
the  advisers  of  the  King  in  support  of  the  bill  is  terrible 
work.  It  seems  clear  that  many  of  the  witnesses  com- 
mitted perjury.  It  is  certain  that  the  diplomatic  force  of 
England  was  used  to  prevent  the  Queen  from  obtaining 
witnesses  on  her  behalf.  Large  sums  of  the  taxpayers' 
money  were  shown  to  have  been  spent  in  surrounding  the 
Princess  of  Wales  with  spies  in  Italy  and  Switzerland. 
Naturally  the  people  took  sides  with  the  Queen.  To  use 
the  language  of  William  Cobbett :  "  The  joy  of  the  people, 
of  all  ranks,  except  nobility,  clergy,  and  the  army  and 
the  navy,  who  in  fact  were  theirs,  was  boundless  ;  and  they 
expressed  it  in  every  possible  way  that  people  can  express 
their  joy.  They  had  heard  rumors  about  a  lewd  life,  and 
about  an  adulterous  intercourse.  They  could  not  but 
believe  that  there  was  some  foundation  for  something  of 
this  kind  ;  but  they,  in  their  justice,  went  back  to  the  time 
when  she  was  in  fact  turned  out  of  her  husband's  house, 
with  a  child  in  her  arms,  without  blame  of  any  sort  ever 
having  been  imputed  to  her.  They  compared  what  they 
had  heard  of  the  wife  with  what  they  had  seen  of  the  hus- 
band, and  they  came  to  their  determination  accordingly. 
As  far  as  related  to  the  question  of  guilt  or  innocence  they 
cared  not  a  straw ;  they  took  a  large  view  of  the  matter ; 

134  THE    HOUSE    OF   BRUNSinCK. 

they  went  over  her  whole  history ;  they  determined  that 
she  had  been  wronged,  and  they  resolved  to  uphold  her." 

On  the  6th  of  August,  the  Duchess  of  York  died.  Dr. 
Doran  thus  writes  her  epitaph :  "  Her  married  life  had 
been  unhappy,  and  every  day  of  it  was  a  disgrace  to  her 
profligate,  unprincipled,  and  good-tempered  husband." 

In  the  month  of  September  Lord  Castlereagh  was  com- 
pelled to  admit  that  the  expenses  incurred  in  obtaining 
evidence  from  abroad,  against  the  Queen,  had  been 
defrayed  out  of  the  Secret  Service  money.  The  trial  of 
Queen  Caroline  lasted  from  the  17th  of  August  until  the 
10th  of  November,  when,  in  a  house  of  two  hundred  and 
seven  peers,  the  Queen  was  found  guilty  by  a  majority  of 
nine  votes.  On  this,  Lord  Liverpool  said  that  "  as  the 
public  sentiment  had  been  expressed  so  decidedly  against' 
the  measure,"  he  would  withdraw  the  bill.  Amongst 
those  who  voted  against  the  Queen,  the  names  appear  of 
Frederick  Duke  of  York  and  William  Henry  Duke  of 
Clarence.  They  had  been  most  active  in  attacking  the 
Queen,  and  now  were  shameless  enough  to  vote  as  her 
judges.  While  the  trial  was  proceeding,  the  Duke 
of  York's  private  conversation  "  was  violent  against  the 
Queen."  He  ought  surely,  for  very  shame's  sake,  this 
Prince-Bishop,  to  have  remembered  the  diamonds  sent  by 
the  King  his  father  to  Princess  Caroline  Amelia  Elizabeth, 
of  Brunswick.  Being  the  bearer  of  the  jewels,  his  Royal 
Highness  the  Duke  of  York  and  Prince-Bishop  of  Osna- 
burg,  stole  them,  and  presented  them  to  Mrs.  Mary  Anne 
Clarke.  Mr.  Denman,  the  Queen's  Solicitor-General,  was 
grandly  audacious  in  his  indictment  of  the  King's  brothers 
for  their  cowardly  conduct.  In  the  presence  of  the  assem- 
bled Lords,  he,  without  actually  referring  to  him  by 
name,  denounced  the  Duke  of  Clarence  as  a  calumniator. 
He  called  on  the  Duke  to  come  forward  openly,  saj-ing, 


"  Come  forth,  thou  slanderer !  "  And  this  slanderer  was 
afterwards  our  King !  The  Queen,  in  a  protest  against 
the  bill,  declared  that  "  those  who  avowed  themselves  her 
prosecutors  have  presumed  to  sit  in  judgment  upon  the 
question  between  the  Queen  and  themselves.  Peers  have 
given  their  voices  against  her,  who  had  heard  the  whole 
evidence  for  the  charge,  and  absented  themselves  during 
her  defence.  Others  have  come  to  the  discussion  from  the 
Secret  Committee  with  minds  biased  by  a  mass  of  slander, 
which  her  enemies  have  not  dared  to  bring  forward  in  the 
light."  Lord  Dacre,  in  presenting  the  protest  to  the 
assembled  peers,  added:  "Her  Majesty  complained  that 
the  individuals  who  formed  her  prosecutors  in  this- odious 
measure,  sat  in  judgment  against  her.  My  Lords,  I  need 
not  express  an  opinion  upon  this  complaint ;  delicacy  alone 
ought  to  have,  in  my  opinion,  prevented  their  becoming 
her  accusers,  and  also  her  judges." 

George  IV.  was  guilty  of  the  vindictive  folly  of  stripping 
Brougham  of  his  King's  Counsel  gown,  as  a  punishment 
for  his  brilliant  defence  of  the  Queen. 

While  the  trial  of  the  Queen  was  going  on,  it  might  have 
been  thought  that  the  King  would  at  any  rate  affect  a  de- 
cency of  conduct.  But  these  Brunswicks  are  shameless. 
Speaking  of  the  cottage  at  Windsor,  on  August  llth,  Mr. 
Fremantle  says :  "  The  principal  object  is  of  course  the 
Lady  Conyngham,  who  is  here.  The  King  and  her  always 
together,  separated  from  the  rest,  they  ride  every  day  or  go 

on  the  water,  and  in  the  evening  sitting  alone 

The  excess  of  his  attentions  and  enjouement  is  beyond  all 
belief."  On  December  1 7th,  Mr.  Fremantle  finds  the  King 
ill  and  says  :  "  The  impression  of  my  mind  is  that  the  com- 
plaint is  in  the  head."  Most  of  the  Brunswicks  have  been 
affected  in  the  head.  Either  George  I.  was  insane,  or 
George  II.  was  not  his  son.  George  II.  himself  had  cer- 


tainly  one  or  two  delusions,  if  not  more.  George  III.'s 
sanity  is  not  affirmed  by  any  one.  It  may  be  a  question 
whether  or  not  any  allegation  of  hereditary  affection  is 
enough,  however,  to  justify  an  appeal  to  Parliament  for  a 
rearrangement  of  the  succession  to  the  throne. 

On  the  9th  of  January,  1821,  King  George  IV.  wrote  a 
private  letter  to  Lord  Chancellor  Eldon,  in  the  "  double 
capacity  as  a  friend  and  as  a  minister,"  in  order  to  influ- 
ence the  proceedings  then  pending  in  the  law  courts 
"  against  vendors  of  treason  and  libellers." 

On  the  8th  of  June,  on  the  motion  of  Lord  Londonderry, 
and  after  an  ineffectual  opposition  by  Mr.  Hume,  £6,000  a 
year  additional  was  voted  to  the  Duke  of  Clarence.  The 
vote  was  made  retrospective,  and  thus  gave  the  Duke 
£18,000  extra  in  cash.  Besides  this,  we  find  a  charge  of 
£9,166  for  fitting  up  the  Duke's  apartments. 

On  the  5th  of  July,  Mr.  Scarlett  moved  the  court  on  be- 
half of  Olivia  "Wilmot  Serres,  claiming  to  be  the  legitimate 
daughter  of  the  Duke  of  Cumberland,  who  was  brother  of 
George  III.  Mr.  Scarlett  submitted  that  he  had  documents 
proving  the  accuracy  of  the  statement,  but  on  a  technical 
point  the  matter  was  not  gone  into. 

In  August,  1821,  King  George  IV.  visited  Ireland. 
Knowing  his  habits,  and  the  customs  of  some  other  mem- 
bers of  the  family,  it  excites  little  surprise  to  read  that,  on 
the  voyage  to  Dublin,  "  his  Majesty  partook  most  abun- 
dantly of  goose  pie  and  whiskey,"  and  landed  in  Ireland 
"  in  the  last  stage  of  intoxication."  And  this  was  a  king ! 
This  journey  to  Ireland  cost  the  country  £58,261.  In  a 
speech  publicly  made  by  the  King  in  Ireland,  within  a  few 
hours  after  receiving  the  news  of  Queen  Caroline's  death, 
the  monarch  said :  "  This  is  one  of  the  happiest  days  of 
my  life." 

On  the   7th  of  August  Queen  Caroline  died.     In  Thel- 


wall's  Champion  there  is  a  full  account  of  the  disgraceful 
conduct  of  the  King's  Government  with  reference  to  the 
funeral.  On  the  morning  of  the  14th,  after  a  disgusting 
contest  between  her  executors  and  the  King's  Government 
for  the  possession  of  her  remains,  they  were  removed  from 
Brandenburgh  House  towards  Harwich,  on  their  way  to 
interment  at  Brunswick.  The  ministers,  to  gratify  per- 
sonal feelings  of  unworthy  rancor  beyond  the  grave,  gave 
orders  that  the  funeral  should  take  a  circuit,  to  avoid  man- 
ifestations of  sympathy  from  the  Corporation  and  the  peo- 
ple along  the  direct  route  through  London.  At  Kensington, 
the  procession  found  every  road  but  that  of  London  barri- 
caded by  the  people,  and  was  constrained  to  take  the 
forbidden  route,  with  the  intention  of  passing  through 
Hyde  Park  into  the  northern  road.  The  Park  gate  was 
closed  and  barricaded,  but  was  forced  by  the  military.  The 
upper  gate  was  also  barricaded.  Here  a  conflict  took  place 
between  the  military  and  the  people,  and  two  persons  were 
shot  by  the  soldiers.  The  procession  moved  on,  the  con- 
flict was  renewed,  the  people  triumphed,  and  the  corpse 
was  borne  through  the  city.  Sir  Robert  Wilson  remonstrated 
with  some  soldiers  and  an  officer  on  duty ;  but  his  humane 
interference  caused  his  removal  from  the  army.  In  return, 
a  large  sum  was  subscribed  by  the  public  to  compensate 
Sir  Robert  Wilson  for  his  loss.  The  directing  civil  magis- 
trate present,  for  having  consulted  his  humanity  in  prefer- 
ence to  his  orders,  and  to  prevent  bloodshed  yielded  to  the 
wishes  of  the  multitude,  was  also  deprived  of  his  commis- 
sion. On  the  inquest  on  the  body  of  one  of  the  men  shot, 
the  coroner's  jury,  vindicating  the  rights  of  the  people,  re- 
turned a  verdict  of  "Wilful  murder"  against  the  Life 
Guardsman  who  fired. 

While  the  King  was  in  Ireland  he  paraded  his  connec- 
tion with  the  Marchioness  of  Conyngham  in  the  most  glar- 


ing  manner.  Fremantle  says :  "  I  never  in  iny  life  heard 
of  anything  to  equal  the  King's  infatuation  and  conduct 
towards  Lady  Conyngham.  She  lived  exclusively  with 
him  during  the  whole  time  he  was  in  Ireland,  at  the  Phoenix 
Park.  When  he  went  to  Slane,  she  received  him  dressed 
out  as  for  a  drawing-room.  He  saluted  her,  and  they  then 
retired  alone  to  her  apartments." 

If  it  be  objected  that  I  am  making  too  great  a  feature 
of  the  Marchioness  of  Conyngham's  connection  with  the 
King,  I  plead  my  justification  in  Henry  W.  Wynn's  declar- 
ation of  "  her  foil}7  and  rapacity,"  affirming  that  this  folly 
and  rapacity  have  left  their  clear  traces  on  the  conduct  of 
affairs,  and  in  the  increase  of  the  national  burdens.  Her 
husband,  as  a  reward  for  her  virtue,  was  made  an  English 
peer  in  1821.  Lord  Mount  Charles,  his  eldest  son,  was 
made  Master  of  the  Robes,  Groom  of  his  Majesty's  Bed- 
chamber, and  ultimately  became  a  member  of  the  Govern- 
ment. On  this,  Bulwer  said :  "  He  may  prove  himself  an 
admirable  statesman,  but  there  is  no  reason  to  suppose  it." 

In  order  that  the  student  of  history  may  fairly  judge  the 
account  of  the  rapturous  reception  given  to  the  King  in 
Ireland,  it  is  needful  to  add  that  political  discontent  was 
manifest  on  all  sides.  Poverty  and  misery  prevailed  in 
Limerick,  Mayo,  Cavan,  and  Tipperary,  which  counties 
were  proclaimed,  and  occupied  by  a  large  military  force. 
Executions,  imprisonments,  and  tumults  filled  the  pages  of 
the  daily  journals. 

In  the  autumn  of  1821,  King  George  IV.  visited  Han- 
over, and  if  the  Duke  of  Buckingham's  correspondence  be 
reliable,  "  Lord  Liverpool  put  a  final  stop  to  the  visit  by 
declaring  that  no  more  drafts  could  be  honored,  except  for 
the  direct  return  home." 

On  the  12th  of  August,  1822,  Castlereagh,  the  most  noble 
the  Marquis  of  Londonderry,  sent  himself  to  heaven,  from 


North  Cray  Farm,  Bexley,  at  the  age  of  fifty-three.  He 
was  buried  in  Westminster  Abbey.  Meaner  clay  would 
have  been  got  rid  of  at  some  cross  roads. 

"  The  death,"  says  Wallace,  "  of  a  public  man  in  Eng- 
land— especially  a  death  so  sudden  and  lamentable — 
greatly  assuages  the  political  resentments  against  him  in 
his  life ;  and  there  was  a  reaction  in  aristocratic  circles  in 
favor  of  Lord  Londonderry  when  he  ceased  to  live.  His 
servile  complaisance  to  despots  abroad,  his  predilection  for 
the  worst  engines  of  government  at  home,  were  for  a 
moment  forgotten.  But  the  honest  hatred  of  the  populace, 
deep-rooted,  sincere,  and  savage,  remained  untouched,  and 
spoke  in  a  fearful  yell  of  triumphant  execration  over  his 
remains  whilst  his  coffin  was  descending  into  the  grave  in 
Westminster  Abbey." 

No  language  could  do  fitting  justice  to  Robert  Stewart, 
Marquis  of  Londonderry.  Words  would  be  too  weak  to 
describe  Castlereagh's  cruelty  and  baseness  towards  his 
own  countrymen,  or  his  infernal  conduct  in  connection  with 
the  Government  of  England.  All  that  can  be  fittingly 
said  is,  that  he  was  pre-eminently  suited  to  be  Minister  of 
State  under  a  Brunswick. 

In  1823  the  thanks  of  Parliament  were  presented  to 
George  IV.  for  "  having  munificently  presented  to  the 
nation  a  library  formed  by  George  III."  Unfortunately, 
the  thanks  were  undeserved.  George  IV.  was  discreditable 
enough  to  accept  thanks  for  a  donation  he  had  never  made. 
The  truth  is,  says  the  Daily  News,  "  that  the  King  being, 
as  was  his  wont,  in  urgent  need  of  money,  entertained  a 
proposal  to  sell  his  father's  library  to  the  Emperor  of  Rus- 
sia for  a  good  round  sum.  The  books  were  actually  packed 
up,  and  the  cases  directed  in  due  form,  when  representa- 
tions were  made  to  Lord  Sidmouth,  then  Home  Secretary, 
on  the  subject.  The  minister  resolved,  if  possible,  to  hinder 


the  iniquity  from  being  perpetrated.  Accordingly,  he  rep- 
resented his  view  of  the  matter  to  the  King.  George  IV. 
graciously  consented,  after  a  good  deal  of  solicitation,  to 
present  the  library  to  the  nation,  conditionally  on  his  re- 
ceiving in  return  the  same  sum  as  he  would  have  received 
had  the  sale  of  it  to  the  Emperor  of  Eussia  been  completed. 
What  the  nation  did  was,  firstly,  to  pay  the  money; 
secondly,  to  erect  a  room  for  the  library  at  the  cost  of 
£140,000 ;  and  thirdly,  to  return  fulsome  thanks  to  the 
sovereign  for  his  unparalleled  munificence." 

On  the  25th  of  April,  1825,  the  Duke  of  York  spoke  in 
the  House  of  Lords  against  Catholic  Emancipation.  His 
speech  was  made,  if  not  by  the  direction,  most  certainly 
with  the  consent,  of  the  King.  George  IV.'s  reluctance  to 
Catholic  Emancipation  was  deep-rooted  and  violent.  The 
bare  mention  of  the  subject  exasperated  him.  He  was 
known  to  say,  and  only  in  his  milder  mood,  "  I  wish  those 
Catholics  were  damned  or  emancipated."  The  angered 
despotism  of  this  alternative  still  afforded  the  hope  that  his 
intolerance  might  be  overcome  by  his  selfish  love  of  ease. 
The  Duke  of  York's  address  to  his  brother  peers  closed 
with  the  declaration  that  he  would,  to  the  last  moment  of 
his  life,  whatever  his  situation,  resist  the  emancipation  of 
the  Catholics,  "  so  help  him  God ! "  All  tyrants  think 
themselves  immortal;  the  Catholics  and  their  cause  out- 
lived the  Duke  of  York,  and  triumphed.  His  speech,  how- 
ever, coming  from  the  presumptive  heir  to  the  Crown,  had 
a  great  share  in  deciding  the  majority  of  the  Lords  against 
the  measure ;  and  acted  with  great  effect  upon  the  con- 
genial mass  of  brute  ignorance  and  bigotry  which  is  found 
ready  to  deny  civil  rights  to  all  outside  the  pale  of  their  own 

On  the  5th  of  January,  1827,  the  Duke  of  York  died.  Wal- 
lace, in  his  "  Life  of  George  IV.,"  says :  "  Standing  in  the 


relation  of  heir-presumptive  to  the  throne  ;  obstinately  and 
obtusely  fortified  against  all  concession  to  the  Catholics ; 
serving  as  a  ready  and  authorative  medium  of  Toryism  and 
intolerance  to  reach,  unobserved,  the  royal  ear  —  his  death 
had  a  great  influence  upon  the  state  of  parties,  and  was 
especially  favorable  to  the  ascendancy  of  Mr.  Canning. 
He,  some  weeks  only  before  he  died,  and  when  his  illness 
had  commenced,  strenuously  urged  the  King  to  render  the 
Government  uniform  and  anti-Catholic ;  in  other  words, 
to  dismiss  Mr.  Canning  ;  and,  had  he  recovered,  Mr.  Canning 
must  have  ceased  to  be  Foreign  Minister,  or  the  Duke  to  be 
Commander-in-chief.  The  Duke  of  York  was  not  without 
personal  good  qualities,  which  scarcely  deserved  the  name  of 
private  virtues,  and  were  overclouded  by  his  private  vices. 
He  was  constant  in  his  friendships :  but  who  were  his  Mends 
and  associates  ?  Were  they  persons  distinguished  in  the  State, 
in  literature,  in  science,  in  arts,  or  even  in  his  own  profession 
of  arms  ?  Were  they  not  the  companions  and  sharers  of  his 
dissipations  and  prodigalities  ?  He  did  not  exact  from  his 
associates  subserviency  of  form  ;  but  it  was  notorious  that, 
from  the  meanness  of  his  capacity,  or  the  vulgarity  of  his 
tastes,  he  descended  very  low  before  he  found  himself  at  his 
own  social  level.  His  services  to  the  army  as  Commander- 
in-chief  wefe  beyond  all  measure  overrated.  Easy  access, 
diligence,  a  mechanical  regularity  of  system,  which  seldom 
yielded  to  solicitation,  and  never  discerned  merit ;  an  un- 
envying,  perhaps  unscrupulous,  willingness  to  act  upon  the 
advice  and  appropriate  the  measures  of  others  more  able 
and  informed  than  himself,  —  these  were  his  chief  merits  at 
the  Horse  Guards.  But,  it  will  be  said,  he  had  un  uncom- 
promising, conscientious  fidelity  to  his  public  principles ; 
this  amounts  to  no  more  than  that  his  bigotry  was  honest 
and  unenlightened.  His  death,  perhaps,  was  opportune; 
his  non-accession  fortunate  for  the  peace  of  the  country 


and  the  stability  of  his  family  on  the  Throne.  Alike  inca- 
pable of  fear  and  foresight,  he  would  have  risked  the  integ- 
rity of  the  United  Kingdom  rather  than  concede  the  Cath- 
olic claims  ;  and  the  whole  Monarchy  rather  than  sanction 
Reform.  It  would  be  easy  to  suggest  a  parallel,  and  not 
always  to  his  advantage,  between  the  constitution  of  his 
mind  and  that  of  James,  Duke  of  York,  afterwards  James 
II.,  whose  obstinate  bigotry  forced  the  nation  to  choose 
between  their  liberties  and  his  deposition  from  the  Throne." 

In  1827,  the  Duke  of  Clarence  obtained,  after  much  oppo- 
sition, a  further  vote  of  £8,000  a  year  to  himself,  besides 
£6,000  a  year  to  the  Duchess.  The  Duke  of  Clarence  also 
had  £3,000  a  year  further,  consequent  on  the  death  of  the 
Duke  of  York,  making  his  allowance  £43,000  a  year. 

In  April,  1829,  the  infamous  Duke  of  Cumberland  had 
stated,  that  if  the  King  gave  his  assent  to  the  Catholic 
Emancipation  Bill,  he  (the  Duke)  would  quit  England 
never  to  return  to  it.  The  Right  Honorable  Thomas  Gren- 
ville  says,  in  a  letter  dated  April  9th :  "  There  is  some 
fear  that  a  declaration  to  that  effect  may  produce  a  very 
general  cheer  even  in  the  dignified  assembly  of  the  House 
of  Lords."  How  loved  these  Brunswicks  have  been  even 
by  their  fellow-peers ! 

On  the  10th  of  April,  the  Roman  Catholic  Emancipation 
Bill  passed  the  House  of  Lords,  the  Duke  of  Wellington 
confessing  that  civil  war  was  imminent,  if  the  relief  afforded 
by  the  measure  was  longer  delayed. 

On  June  26th,  1830,  the  royal  physicians  issued  a  bulletin, 
stating  that  "  it  has  pleased  Almighty  God  to  take  from 
this  world  the  King's  most  excellent  majesty."  Most 
excellent  majesty  ! !  A  son  who  threatened  his  mother  to 
make  public  the  invalidity  of  her  marriage  ;  a  lover  utterly 
regardless  of  the  well-being  of  any  of  his  mistresses ;  a 
bigamous  husband,  who  behaved  most  basely  to  his  first 



wife,  and  acted  the  part  of  a  dishonorable  scoundrel  to  the 
second ;  a  brother  at  utter  enmity  with  the  Duke  of  Kent ; 
a  son  who  sought  to  aggravate  the  madness  of  his  royal 
father ;  a  cheat  in  gaming  and  racing.  He  dies  because 
lust  and  luxury  have,  through  his  lazy  life,  done  their  work 
on  his  bloated  carcass,  and  England  sorrows  for  the  King's 
"  most  excellent  majesty  ! " 

George  IV.  was  a  great  King.  Mrs.  J.  R.  Greer,  in  her 
work  on  "  Quakerism,"  says  that  he  once  went  to  a  woman's 
meeting  in  Quaker  dress.  "  His  dress  was  all  right ;  a 
gray  silk  gown,  a  brown  cloth  shawl,  a  little  white  silk 
handkerchief  with  hemmed  edge  round  his  neck,  and  a  very 
well-poked  Friend's  bonnet,  with  the  neatly-crimped  border 
of  his  clear  muslin  cap  tied  under  the  chin,  completed  his 
disguise."  Eoyal  George  was  detected,  but  we  are  told 
that  the  Quakers,  who  recognized  their  visitor,  were  careful 
to  treat  him  with  courtesy  and  deference ! 

In  the  ten  years'  reign,  the  official  expenditure  for  George 
IV.  and  his  Royal  Family  was  at  the  very  least  £16,000,000 
sterling.  Windsor  Castle  cost  £894,500,  the  Pavilion  at 
Brighton  is  said  to  have  cost  a  million,  and  another  half- 
million  is  alleged  to  have  been  expended  on  the  famous 
"  Cottage."  After  the  King's  death  his  old  clothes  realized 

Thackeray  says  of  him  that  he  "  never  resisted  any 
temptation ;  never  had  a  desire  but  he  coddled  it  and  pam- 
pered it ;  if  he  ever  had  any  nerve,  he  frittered  it  away 
among  cooks,  and  tailors,  and  barbers,,  and  furniture-mon- 
gers, and  opera-dancers.  ...  all  fiddling,  and  flowers, 
and  feasting,  and  flattery,  and  folly.  ...  a  monstrous 
image  of  pride,  vanity,  and  weakness." 

Wallace  says :  "  Monarchy,  doubtless,  has  its  advan- 
tages ;  but  it  is  a  matter  of  serious  reflection  that  under  a 
government  called  free,  among  a  people  called  civilized, 

144  THE    HOUSE    OF   BRUNSWCK. 

the  claims  of  millions,  and  the  contingent  horrors  of  a  civil 
war,  should  be  thus  dependent  upon  the  distempered 
humors  and  paramount  will  of  a  single  unit  of  the  species." 


THE      REIGN      OF       WILLIAM      IV. 

WILLIAM  HENRY,  Duke  of  Clarence,  Admiral  of  the  Fleet, 
and  third  son  of  George  III.,  born  August  21st,  1765, 
succeeded  his  brother  George  IV.  as  King  of  England,  on 
the  26th  of  June,  1830.  The  new  King  was  then  65  years  of 
age,  and  had  been  married,  July  llth,  1818,  to  Adelaide 
Amelia  Louisa  Teresa  Caroline,  Princess  of  Saxe- 
Meiningen.  Mrs.  Dorothy  Jordan,  with  whom  William 
had  lived,  and  who  had  borne  him  ten  children,  had  fled  to 
France  to  avoid  her  creditors,  and  had  there  died, 
neglected  by  the  world,  deserted  by  William,  and  in 
the  greatest  poverty.  This  Mrs.  Jordan  was  sold  to  Wil- 
liam by  one  Richard  Ford,  her  former  lover,  who,  amongst 
other  rewards  of  virtue,  was  created  a  Knight,  and  made 
Police  Magistrate  at  Bow  Street.  Mrs.  Jordan's  children 
bore  the  name  of  "  Fitzclarence,"  and  great  dissatisfaction 
was  expressed  against  the  King,  who,  too  mean  to  main- 
tain them  out  of  his  large  income,  contrived  to  find  them 
all  posts  at  the  public  cost.  At  the  date  of  William  IV.'s 
accession,  the  imperial  taxation  was  about  £47,000,000 ; 
to-day  it  has  increased  at  least  £25,000,000. 

The  annual  allowances  to  the  junior  branches  of  the 
Royal  Family  in  1830,  formerly  included  in  the  Civil  List, 
and  now  paid  separately,  were  as  follows :  — 

The  Duke  of  Cumberland  £21,000.  He  had  no  increase 
on  his  marriage ;  the  House  of  Commons  rejected  a  motion 


to  that  effect ;  but  an  allowance  of  £6,000  a  year  for  his 
son,  Prince  George,  had  been  issued  to  him  since  he  became 
a  resident  in  this  country.  This  is  the  Duke  of  Cumber- 
land, who  so  loved  his  brother,  William  IV.,  that  he 
intrigued  with  the  Orangemen  to  force  William's  abdication, 
and  to  get  made  King  in  his  stead. 

The  Duke  of  Sussex  received  £21,000. 

The  Duke  of  Cambridge,  father  of  the  present  Duke,  had 
£27,000.  He  obtained  an  increase  on  his  marriage  of 
£6,000  a  year.  This  Prince  was  charged  with  the  govern- 
ment of  the  family  territoiy,  the  kingdom  of  Hanover,  and 
consequently  resided  but  little  in  England. 

Princess  Augusta,  £13,000. 

The  Princess  Elizabeth  of  Hesse  Homburg,  £13,000. 

Princess  Sophia,  £13,000. 

The  Duchess  of  Kent,  including  the  allowance  granted  in 
1831,  for  her  daughter,  the  Princess  Victoria,  heir-presump- 
tive to  the  Throne,  £22,000. 

The  Duke  of  Gloucester,  including  £13,000  which  he  re- 
ceived as  the  husband  of  the  Princess  Mary,  £27,000. 

The  Princess  Sophia  of  Gloucester,  his  sister,  £7,000. 

Queen  Adelaide  had  £100,000  a  year,  and  the  residence 
at  Bushey  granted  to  her  for  life. 

Mrs.  Fitzherbert,  as  the  widow  of  George  IV.,  was  in 
receipt  of  £6,000  a  year,  and  the  ten  Fitzclarences  also 
enjoyed  places  and  pensions. 

The  Duke  of  Wellington  and  Sir  Robert  Peel  were  the 
King's  Ministers ;  and,  although  there  was  some  personal 
hostility  between  William  and  the  Iron  Duke,  they  were  at 
first  his  willing  coadjutors  in  opposing  either  reduction  of 
expenditure,  or  any  kind  of  political  or  social  reform. 
The  quarrel  between  William  as  Duke  of  Clarence  and  the 
Duke  of  Wellington  had  arisen  when  William  was  Lord 
High  Admiral.  William  had  given  improper  orders  to  a 


military  officer,  named  Cockburn,  which  the  latter  had 
refused  to  obey.  The  Duke  of  Wellington  refused  to 
sacrifice  Cockburn,  and  ultimately  the  Duke  of  Clarence 
resigned  his  office  as  Lord  High  Admiral,  for  which,  says 
the  Rev.  Mr.  Molesworth,  "  he  was  ill-qualified,  and  in 
which  he  was  doing  great  mischief." 

In  November,  1830,  Earl  Grey,  Lord  Brougham,  Lord 
Melbourne,  and  Lord  Altliorp  came  into  office  as  leaders  of 
the  Whig  party.  With  slight  exception,  in  1806,  the  Whigs 
had  not  been  before  in  office  during  the  present  centuiy, 
and  very  little  indeed  since  1762.  The  Whigs  encouraged 
the  Radical  Reformers  so  far  as  to  insure  their  own  acces- 
sion to  power ;  but  it  is  evident  that  the  Whig  Cabinet  only 
considered  how  little  they  could  grant,  and  yet  retain  office. 
In  finance,  as  well  as  reform,  they  were  disloyal  to  the 
mass  of  the  people  who  pushed  them  into  power. 

The  Duke  of  Wellington  and  his  Ministry  resigned  office 
in  November,  1830,  because  the  House  of  Commons  wished 
to  appoint  a  Select  Committee  to  examine  the  Civil  List. 
King  William  IV.,  according  to  the  words  of  a  letter 
written  by  him  to  Earl  Grey,  on  December  1st,  1830,  felt 
considerable  "  alarm  and  uneasiness "  because  Joseph 
Hume  and  other  Radical  members  wished  to  put  some 
check  on  the  growing  and  already  extravagant  royal 
expenditure.  He  objects  "  most  strenuously,"  and  says, 
referring  in  this  especially  to  the  Duchy  of  Lancas- 
ter: "Earl  Grey  cannot  be  surprised  that  the  King 
should  view  with  jealousy  any  idea  of  Parliamentary  inter- 
ference with  the  only  remaining  pittance  of  an  independent 
possession,  which  has  been  enjoyed  by  his  ancestors,  dur- 
ing many  centuries,  as  their  private  and  independent  estate, 
and  has  now,  as  such,  lawfully  devolved  upon  him  in  right 
of  succession.  That  he  should  feel  that  any  successful  at- 
tempt lo  deprive  the  Sovereign  of  this  independent  posses- 


sion  will  be  to  lower  and  degrade  Mm  into  the  state  and 
condition  of  absolute  and  entire  dependence,  as  a  pensioner 
of  the  House  of  Commons ;  to  place  him  in  the  condition 
of  an  individual  violating  or  surrendering  a  trust  which 
had  been  held  sacred  by  his  ancestors,  and  which  he  is 
bound  to  transmit  to  his  successors.  The  King  cannot 
indeed  conceive  upon  what  plea  such  a  national  invasion  of 
the  private  rights,  and  such  a  seizure  of  the  private  estates, 
of  the  Sovereign  could  be  justified." 

William  IV.  reminds  Earl  Grey,  that  the  Chancellor  of 
the  Duchy  is  sworn  to  do  all  things  "for  the  weal  and  profit 
of  the  King's  Highness.  And  his  Majesty  has  fair  reason 
to  expect  that  a  pledge  so  solemnly  taken  will  be  fulfilled, 
and  that  he  will  be  supported  in  his  assertion  of  these 
private  rights,  not  only  of  himself,  but  of  his  heirs  and 
successors,  as  they  have  devolved  upon  him,  separate  from 
all  other  of  his  possessions  jure  coronas,  and  consequently, 
as  his  separate  personal  and  private  estate,  vested  in  his 
Majesty,  by  descent  from  Henry  VII.  in  his  body  natural, 
and  not  in  his  body  politic  as  King." 

Earl  Grey  naturally  promised  to  prevent  Radical  finan- 
cial reformers  from  becoming  too  annoying  to  Royalty. 
The  Whigs  love  to  talk  of  economy  out  of  office,  and  to 
avoid  it  when  in  place. 

Daniel  O'Connell  appears  to  have  much  troubled  the 
King.  Directly  after  the  Dublin  meeting  in  December, 
1830,  Sir  Henry  Taylor  says  :  "  The  King  observed,  that  he 
would  have  been  better  pleased  if  this  assembly  of  people 
had  not  dispersed  quietly  at  his  bidding,  as  the  control 
which  he  has  successfully  exercised  upon  various  occasions 
in  this  way,  appears  to  his  Majesty  the  most  striking  proof 
of  the  influence  he  has  acquired  over  a  portion  of  the  lower 
classes  in  Ireland." 

It  is  pretended  in  the  Cabinet  Register  for  1831,  and  was 


stated  by  Lord  Althorp  in  Parliament,  that  his  Majesty 
most  nobly  and  patriotically  declined  to  add  to  the  burdens 
of  his  people  by  accepting  an  outfit  for  his  royal  consort, 
though  £54,000  had  been  granted  by  Parliament  to  the 
Queen  of  George  III.,  as  an  outfit  to  purchase  jewels,  etc." 
This  is  so  little  true,  that  it  appears  from  the  correspon- 
dence between  the  King  and  Earl  Grey,  that  a  grant  for 
the  Queen's  outfit  had  been  agreed  to  by  the  outgoing 
Tories,  and  would  have  been  proposed  by  the  new  Whig 
Government,  had  not  one  of  the  Cabinet  (probably  Lord 
Brougham)  decidedly  objected,  on  the  ground  "  that  pro- 
posing a  grant  for  this  purpose  would  have  a  bad  effect  oa 
the  House  of  Commons,  and  on  public  opinion ; "  and  by  a 
letter  dated  February  4th,  1831,  from  the  King,  it  is  clear 
that  he  only  abandoned  the  claim  when  he  found  he  could 
not  get  it.  There  is  not  a  word  about  "  the  burdens  of  the 
people,"  although  many  at  that  time  were  in  a  starving 
condition.  On  the  contrary,  the  secretary  of  the  King  sa3Ts 
on  the  6th  of  February,  that  "  the  disinclination  shown  in 
the  House  of  Commons  "  to  grant  the  outfit  had  "  produced 
a  very  painful  impression  on  his  Majesty." 

The  King,  afraid  of  the  spread  of  Reform  opinions,  says 
that  he  "  trusts  that  the  Lord-Lieutenants  and  Deputy- 
Lieutenants  of  counties  will  be  cautioned  to  scrutinize  the 
ballots  for  the  militia  as  far  as  possible,  so  as  to  endeavor 
to  exclude  from  its  ranks  men  of  dangerous  and  designing 
character,  whose  influence  might  prove  very  pernicious  upon 
newly-established  corps,  and  before  they  shall  have  acquired 
habits  of  discipline  and  subordination."  And  to  show  his 
desire  for  Reform,  he  urges  the  Ministers  to  check  the  pub- 
lic gatherings,  saying,  "  I  am  ignorant  to  what  extent  it 
may  be  in  contemplation  to  increase  the  military  means, 
either  by  calling  out  the  militia  partially,  or  by  any  addition 
to  the  regular  force ;  but  I  am  convinced  that  the  latter 


•would  be  not  onl}*  the  most  efficient,  but  the  cheapest ;  and 
it  would  have  the  advantage  of  being  applicable  to  all 

The  Reformer  King  —  for  this  pretence  has  been  made  — 
in  another  letter  says :  "  His  Majesty  is  satisfied  that  he 
may  rely  upon  Earl  Grey's  strenuous  support  in  his  deter- 
mination to  resist  all  attempts  which  may  be  made  to  sap 
the  established  rights  of  the  Crown,  and  to  destroy  those 
institutions  under  which  this  country  has  so  long  prospered, 
while  others  have  been  suffering  so  severely  from  the  effects 
of  revolutionary  projects,  and  from  the  admission  of  what 
are  called  Radical  remedies  .  .  .  He  is  induced  thus 
pointedly  to  notice  the  proposal  of  introducing  Election  by 
Ballot,  in  order  to  declare  that  nothing  should  ever  induce 
him  to  yield  to  it,  or  to  sanction  a  practice  which  would, 
in  his  opinion,  be  a  protection  to  concealment,  would  abolish 
the  influence  of  fear  and  shame,  and  would  be  inconsistent 
with  the  manly  spirit  and  the  free  avowal  of  opinion  which 
distinguish  the  people  of  England.  His  Majesty  need 
scarcely  add  that  his  opposition  to  the  introduction  of 
another,  yet  more  objectionable,  proposal,  the  adoption  of 
Universal  Suffrage,  one  of  the  wild  projects  which  have 
sprung  from  revolutionary  speculation,  would  have  been 
still  more  decided." 

How  William  IV.  could  ever  have  been  suspected  of  being 
favorable  to  Reform  is  difficult  to  comprehend.  As  Duke  of 
Clarence  he  had  spoken  in  favor  of  the  Slave  Trade,  and 
had  declared  that  "  its  abolition  should  meet  with  his  most 
serious  and  most  unqualified  opposition."  When  the  Reform 
Bill  actually  became  law,  although  William  IV.  did  not  dare 
to  veto  it,  he  refused  to  give  the  royal  assent  in  person. 

In  this  chapter  there  is  not  space  enough  to  go  through 
the  history  of  the  Reform  agitation  of  1832.  In  Moles- 
worth's  "  History  of  the  Reform  Bill,"  and  Roebuck's  ac- 


count  of  the  "Whig  Ministry,"  the  reader  will  find  the 
story  fully  told.  It  is  not  enough  to  say  here  that  the  King 
not  only  hindered  Reform  until  Revolution  was  imminent, 
and  the  flames  of  burning  castles  and  mansions  were  rising 
in  different  parts  of  England,  but  it  may  be  stated  that  he 
condescended  to  deceive  his  Ministers  ;  that  he  allowed  his 
children  to  canvass  peers  against  the  bill,  and  would  have 
resorted  to  force  to  crush  the  Birmingham  Political  Union, 
if  he  could  have  thrown  the  responsibility  of  this  tyranny 
upon  the  Cabinet.  In  the  King's  eyes  the  people  were  "  the 
rabble."  We  find  him  "  impatient  "  for  the  return  of  the 
Tories  to  power,  and  bitterly  discontented  when  the  orderly 
character  of  popular  demonstrations  rendered  the  employ- 
ment of  the  military  impossible. 

The  Earl  of  Munster,  one  of  the  King's  ten  children  by 
Mrs.  Jordan,  and  who  was  Governor  of  Windsor  Castle, 
Colonel  in  the  Army,  Aide-de-Camp  to  the  King,  Lieutenant 
of  the  Tower,  Tory  and  State  prisoner,  being  charged  with 
having  "  unhandsomely  intrigued  against  Earl  Grey's  Gov- 
ernment," made  the  curious  defence  "  that  for  six  months 
before  and  for  twenty-four  hours  after  the  resignation  "  of 
the  Grey  Government,  "  it  was  from  certain  circumstances 
out  of  his  power  to  act  in  the  matter  imputed  to  him." 

It  is  worthy  of  notice,  as  against  Mr.  Frederic  Harrison's 
opinion,  that  no  English  monarch  could  now  really  interfere 
with  the  course  of  government  in  Great  Britain,  that  in 
April,  1832,  William  IV.  gave  written  directions  to  Earl 
Grey,  "  that  no  instructions  should  be  sent"  to  foreign  am- 
bassadors until  they  had  "  obtained  his  previous  concur- 
rence." And  it  is  clear,  from  a  letter  of  the  King's  private 
secretary,  that  William  gave  these  orders  because  he  was 
afraid  there  was  a  "  disposition  ...  to  unite  with  France 
in  support  of  the  introduction  of  liberal  opinions  and  meas- 
ures agreeably  to  the  spirit  of  the  times."  Although  the 


newspapers  praised  William,  he  does  not  seem  to  have  been 
very  grateful  in  private.  In  1832,  he  declared  to  his  con- 
fidential secretary  that  he  had  "  long  ceased  to  consider  the 
press  (the  newspaper  family)  in  any  other  light  than  as  the 
vehicle  of  all  that  is  false  and  infamous." 

In  January,  1833/  in  a  speech,  not  written  for  him,  but 
made  extemporaneously  after  dinner,  William  IV.  said,  to 
compliment  the  American  Ambassador,  u  that  it  had  always 
been  a  matter  of  serious  regret  to  him  that  he  had  not  been 
born  a  free,  independent  American."  We  regret  that  the 
whole  family  have  not  long  since  naturalized  themselves  as 
American  citizens.  But  such  a  sentiment  from  the  son  of 
George  III.,  from  one  who  in  his  youth  had  used  the  most 
extravagant  phraseology  in  denunciation  of  the  American 
rebels ! ! 

The  family  insanitj-,  shown  in  the  case  of  George 
II.  by  his  persistence  in  wearing  his  Dettingen  old  clothes  ; 
more  notorious  and  less  possible  of  concealment  in  that  of 
George  III. ;  well  known  to  all  but  the  people  as  to  George 
IV.,  who  actually  tried  to  persuade  the  Duke  of  Wellington 
that  he  (George)  had  led  a  regiment  at  Waterloo, 
was  also  marked  in  William  IV.  In  April,  1832, 
the  King's  own  secretary  admits  "distressing  symp- 
toms "  and  "  nervous  excitement,"  but  says  that  the  attack 
"is  now  subsiding."  Raikes,  a  Tory,  and  also  a  king- 
worshipper,  in  his  "  Diarj',"  under  date  May  the  27th, 
1834,  sa}'s,  after  speaking  of  the  King's  "  excitement "  and 
"rather  extraordinary"  conduct,  that  "at  the  levee  a 
considerable  sensation  was  created  the  other  day  by  his 
insisting  that  an  unfortunate  wooden-legged  lieutenant 
should  kneel  down."  On  June  llth,  visiting  the  Royal 
Academy,  the  President  showed  the  King,  amongst  others, 
the  portrait  of  Admiral  Napier,  and  was  astonished  to  hear 
his  Majesty  at  once  cry  out :  "  Captain  Napier  may  be 


damned,  sir,  and  you  may  be  damned,  sir;  and  if  the 
Queen  was  not  here,  sir,  I  would  kick  you  downstairs, 
sir."  The  King's  brother,  his  Royal  Highness  the  Duke  of 
Gloucester,  died  November  20th,  1834.  Raikes  says  of 
him :  "  He  was  not  a  man  of  talent,  as  may  be  inferred 
from  his  nickname  of  Silly  Billy."  This  is  the  RojTal 
Family,  the  head  of  which,  according  to  Mr.  Disraeli,  was 
"  physically  and  mentally  incapable  of  performing  the 
regal  functions,"  and  which  yet,  according  to  the  brilliant 
statesman,  so  fitly  represents  the  intelligence  and  honor  of 
Great  Britain ! 

In  1836,  Sir  William  Knighton  died.  He  had  been 
made  private  secretary  to  the  late  King,  and  had  made  his 
fortune  by  means  of  some  papers  which  Colonel  Macmahon, 
confidant  of  George  IV.,  had  when  dying,  and  which  came 
into  Knighton's  hands  as  medical  attendant  of  the  dying 
man.  Sir  W.  Knighton  was  made  a  "  Grand  Cross,"  not 
for  his  bravery  in  war,  or  intelligence  in  the  State,  but  for 
his  adroit  manipulation  of  secrets  relating  to  Lad}7  Jersey, 
Mrs.  Fitzherbert,  and  the  Marchioness  of  Conyngham. 
Sir  William  Knighton  and  the  latter  lady  were  supposed  to 
have  made  free  with  £300,000 ;  but  great  larcenies  win 
honor,  and  Sir  W.  Knighton  died  respected. 

In  August,  1836,  William — hearing  that  the  Duke  of 
Bedford  had  helped  O'Connell  with  money  —  ordered  the 
Duke's  bust,  then  in  the  Gallery  at  Windsor,  to  be  taken 
down,  and  thrown  in  the  lime-kilns. 

On  June  20th,  1837,  William  IV.  died.  Ernest,  Duke 
of  Cumberland,  by  William's  death,  became  King  of  Han- 
over, and  was  on  the  same  day  publicly  hissed  in  the  Green 
Park.  Naturally,  in  this  loving  family  there  was  consid- 
erable disagreement  for  some  time  previous  to  the  King's 
death  between  his  Majesty  and  the  Duchess  of  Kent. 

The  Edinburgh  Review,  soon  after  the  King's  death, 

THE    HOUSE    OF    BRUNSWICK.  153 

while  admitting  that  "  his  understanding  may  not  have 
been  of  as  high  an  order  as  his  good  nature,"  says :  "  "We 
have  learned  to  forget  the  faults  of  the  Duke  of  Clarence  in 
the  merits  of  William  IV."  Where  were  these  merits 
shown?  Was  it  in  "brooding" — (to  use  the  expression 
of  his  own  private  secretaiy)  —  over  questions  of  whether 
he  could,  during  the  commencement  of  his  reign,  personally 
appropriate  sums  of  money  outside  the  Civil  List  votes? 
Was  it  in  desiring  that  Colonel  Napier  might  be  "  struck 
off  the  half-pay  list,"  for  having  made  a  speech  at  Devizes 
in  favor  of  Parliamentary  Reform  ?  Was  it  when  he  tried 
to  persuade  Earl  Grey  to  make  Parliament  pay  Rundell 
and  Bridge's  bill  for  plate  —  and  this  when  the  masses 
were  in  a  starving  condition?  Was  it  when  he  declared 
that  he  was  by  "no  means  dissatisfied"  that  a  proposed 
meeting  was  likely  to  be  so  "  violent,  and  in  other  respects 
so  objectionable,"  as  it  would  afford  the  excuse  for  sup- 
pressing by  force  the  orderly  meetings  which,  says  his 
secretary,  "  the  King  orders  me  to  say  he  cannot  too  often 
describe  as  being,  in  his  opinion,  far  more  mischievous  and 
dangerous "  than  those  of  "  a  more  avowed  and  violent 
character  "  ? 


THE     PRESENT     It  E  I  G  N  . 

HER  present  Majesty,  Alexandrina  Victoria,  was  born 
May  24th,  1819,  and  ascended  the  throne  June  20th,  1837, 
as  representing  her  father,  the  Duke  of  Kent,  fourth  son  of 
George  III.  On  February  10th,  1840,  it  being  the  general 
etiquette  for  the  Brunswick  family  to  intermarry  amongst 
themselves,  she  was  married  to  her  cousin,  Prince  Albert 

154  HOUSE    OF 

of  Saxe  Coburg,  who  received  an  allowance  from  the  nation 
of  £30,000,  to  compensate  him  for  becoming  the  husband 
of  his  wife.  The  Queen,  more  sensible  than  others  of  the 
arduous  position  of  a  Prince  Consort,  wished  her  loyal 
husband  to  have  £100,000  a  year.  The  Government  re- 
duced this  to  £50,000  ;  Joseph  Hume  and  the  'Radicals 
reduced  it  still  further  to  £30,000.  For  this  annual  pa}r- 
mcnt  the  Prince  undertook  to  submit  to  naturalization,  to 
be  the  first  subject  in  England,  to  reside  rent  free  in  the 
Royal  Palaces  repaired  at  the  cost  of  the  nation.  He  also, 
on  his  own  account,  and  for  his  own  profit,  attended  to 
various  building  speculations  at  the  West  End  of  London, 
and  died  very  rich.  He  is  known  as  Prince  Albert  the 
Good.  His  goodness  is  marked  —  not  by  parks  given  to 
the  people,  as  in  the  case  of  Sir  Francis  Crossley ;  not  by 
improved  dwellings  for  the  people,  as  in  the  case  of  George 
Peabody ;  not  by  a  large  and  costly  market  place,  freely 
given,  as  in  the  case  of  Miss  Burdett  Coutts  —  Peeress 
without  her  patent  of  Baroness  ;  —  but  by  statues  erected 
in  his  honor  in  many  cities  and  boroughs  by  a  loyal 
people.  As  an  employer  of  labor,  the  Prince's  reputation 
for  generosity  is  marked  solely  by  these  statues.  As  a 
Prince,  he  felt  in  his  lifetime  how  much  and  how  truly  he 
was  loved  by  his  people ;  and  at  a  dinner  given  to  the 
Guards,  Prince  Albert,  in  a  speech  probably  not  revised 
beforehand,  told  the  household  troops  how  he  relied  on 
them  to  protect  the  throne  against  any  assaults.  The 
memory  of  the  Prince  is  dear  to  the  people  ;  he  has  left  us 
nine  children  to  keep  out  of  the  taxpayers'  pockets,  his 
own  large  private  accumulations  of  wealth  being  inappli- 
cable to  their  maintenance. 

When  her  Majesty  ascended  the  throne,  poor  rates  aver- 
aged 5s.  4£d.  per  head  per  annum ;  to-day  they  exceed  7s. 
During  the  last  fifteen  years  alone  there  has  been  an  in- 


crease  of  more  than  250,000  paupers  in  England  and 
Wales,  and  one  person  out  of  every  twenty-two  is  in  receipt 
of  workhouse  relief.  Everybody,  however,  agrees  that  the 
country  is  prosperous  and  happy.  In  Scotland  there  has 
been  an  increase  of  9,048  paupers  in  the  last  ten  years. 
Two  out  of  every  fifty-three  Scotclrnen  are  at  this  moment 
paupers.  In  Ireland  in  the  last  ten  years  the  out-door  pau- 
pers have  increased  19,504.  As,  however,  we  have,  during 
the  reign  of  her  present  most  gracious  Majesty,  driven 
away  the  bulk  of  the  Irish  population,  there  are  consider- 
ably fewer  paupers  in  Ireland  than  there  are  in  Scotland. 
The  average  Imperial  taxation  during  the  first  ten  years  of 
her  Majesty's  reign  was  under  £50,000,000  a  year.  The 
average  taxation  at  the  present  day  is  over  £72,000,000  ayear. 
Pauperism  and  local  and  Imperial  taxation  are  all  on  the 
increase,  and,  despite  agricultural  laborers'  outcries  and 
workmen's  strikes,  it  is  agreed  that  her  Majesty's  reign  has 
brought  us  many  blessings. 

On  March  20th,  1842,  the  Earl  of  Munster,  eldest  son  of 
William  IV.,  and  who  had  been  made  Constable  of  Wind- 
sor Castle  by  her  Majesty,  committed  suicide.  Although 
the  eldest  son  of  the  late  King,  his  position  as  a  natural 
child  excluded  him  from  heaven,  according  to  the  Bible, 
and  from  all  right  to  the  Throne,  according  to  our  law. 

Her  Majesty's  eldest  daughter,  the  Princess  Royal,  Vic- 
toria Adelaide  Mary  Louisa,  is  married  to  the  Prince  Impe- 
rial, Frederick  William,  of  Germany,  and,  as  it  would  have 
been  manifestly  unreasonable  to  expect  either  the  Queen 
or  the  Prince  Consort,  out  of  their  large  private  fortunes, 
to  provide  a  dowry  for  their  daughter,  the  English  nation 
pays  £8,000  a  year  to  the  Princess-. 

Her  Majesty's  eldest  son,  Albert  Edward,  Prince  of 
Wales,  Duke  of  Saxony,  Cornwall,  and  Rothesay,  and 
Earl  of  Dublin,  has  earned  already  so  wide  a  fame  that 


notice  here  is  almost  needless.  As  a  writer,  Ms  letters  — 
a  few  of  which  have  been  published  by  the  kind  permission 
of  Sir  Charles  Mordaunt  —  illustrate  the  grasp  of  mind 
peculiar  to  the  family,  and  mark  in  strong  relief  the  nobility 
of  character  of  the  Ro}7al  author.  As  a  military  chieftain, 
the  Autumn  Manoeuvres  of  1871  demonstrated  the  tact  and 
speed  he  could  display  in  a  strategic  movement  of  masterly 
retreat.  As  an  investigator  of  social  problems,  he  has  sur- 
passed the  Lords  Townshend  and  Shaftesbury,  and  at 
Mabille  and  in  London  has,  by  experience,  entitled  himself 
to  speak  with  authority.  As  a  pigeon-shooter,  he  can  only 
be  judged  by  comparison  with  the  respectable  ex-bush- 
ranger now  claiming  the  Tichborne  estates.  Here,  it  is 
true,  the  latter  is  a  man  of  more  weight.  The  Prince  of 
Wales  receives  £40,000  a  year,  and  we  give  his  wife  £10,000 
a  year  as  a  slight  acknowledgment  for  the  position  she  has 
to  occupy  as  Princess  of  Wales.  With  the  history  of  the 
wives  of  the  two  last  Princes  of  Wales  to  guide  them, 
it  is  almost  wonderful  that  the  advisers  of  the  Princess  did 
not  insist  on  a  much  higher  premium  against  the  risks  of  the 
position.  When  his  Royal  Highness  came  of  age.  he  found 
accumulations  of  the  Duchy  of  Cornwall  approaching  a 
million  sterling,  which,  invested  in  Consols,  would  bring 
him  in  at  least  a  further  £40,000  per  annum.  His  Royal 
Highness  also  has  the  income  of  the  Duchy  of  Cornwall, 
amounting  net  to  about  £75,000  a  year.  In  addition  to  this, 
the  Prince  of  Wales  is  entitled  to  military  salary  as  Colonel 
of  the  Rifle  Brigade  and  10th  Hussars.  Last  year  —  con- 
scious that  it  is  unfair  to  expect  a  Prince  to  live  upon 
£153,000  a  year  —  £7,600  were  voted  by  Parliament  for  the 
repair  of  the  house  in  which  he  sometimes  resides  when  in 

A  few  years  ago  his  Royal  Highness  was  in  Paris,  and 
certain  scurrilous  foreign  prints  pretended  that  on  the 

THE    HOUSE    OF    BRUNSWICK.  157 

Boulevard  des  Italiens,  in  the  face  of  France,  lie  had  for- 
gotten that  one  day  he  would  seek  to  be  King  of  England. 
It  is  written,  "  In  vino  veritas"  and  if  the  proverb  hold,  the 
Prince  is  more  than  half  his  time  a  man  remarkable  for  his 
truthfulness.  Some  time  later,  the  Royal  Leamington 
Clironicle^  which,  in  his  mere}',  the  Prince  of  Wales  never 
prosecuted,  coupled  his  reputation  with  infamy.  Later,  his 
Eoyal  Highness  was  ill,  and  the  nation  wept.  Then  came 
recovery  and  Thanksgiving  at  St.  Paul's. 

"  So  when  the  devil  was  sick, 

The  devil  a  saint  would  be ; 

When  the  devil  got  well  again, 

The  devil  a  saint  was  he." 

The  Prince  of  Wales  has  since  been  to  Paris,  and,  ac- 
cording to  La  Liberte,  has  honored  Mabille  with  his  Royal 

Her  Majesty's  second  son  is  Alfred  Ernest,  Duke  of  Edin- 
burgh. His  Royal  Highness,  when  serving  on  board  the 
Galatea,  had  leave  to  go  on  shore  at  Marseilles.  Journey- 
ing to  Paris,  he  overstayed  his  leave,  refused  to  return 
when  summoned,  and  stayed  there,  so  Paris  journals  said, 
till  his  debts  were  thousands.  Any  other  officer  in  the 
navy  would  have  been  cashiered ;  his  Royal  Highness  has 
since  been  promoted.  The  Duke  of  Edinburgh  visited  our 
Colonies,  and  the  nation  voted  about  £3,500  for  presents 
made  by  the  Prince.  The  presents  the  Prince  received 
were,  of  course,  his  own,  and  the  vote  enabled  the  Duke  to 
do  justice  to  the  generous  sentiments  of  his  family.  The 
Colonists  pretended  at  the  time  that  some  of  the  presents 
were  not  paid  for  by  the  Duke  of  Edinburgh  ;  najr,  they  went 
so  far  as  to  allege  that  some  of  the  Duke's  debts  had  to  be 
discharged  by  the  Colonist  Reception  Committee.  Repre- 
senting the  honor  of  England,  his  Roj^al  Highness  earned 
himself  a  fame  and  a  name  by  the  associates  he  chose.  In 

158  THE   HOUSE    OF  BRUNSinCK. 

visiting  India,  a  special  sum  of,  we  believe,  £10,000  was 
taken  from  the  Indian  revenues  and  handed  to  the  Duke, 
so  that  an  English  Prince  might  be  liberal  in  his  gifts  to 
Indians  at  their  own  cost.  The  Duke  of  Edinburgh  has 
£25,000  a  year.  Five  years  ago  he  borrowed  £450  from 
the  pa3r-chest  of  the  Galatea.  I  have  no  means  of  knowing 
whether  it  has  since  been  paid  back ;  all  I  can  affirm  is, 
that  the  country  made  up  the  deficient  sum  in  the  pay -chest 
without  a  word  from  any  M.  P.  Had  the  borrower  been  a 
pay-sergeant,  he  would  have  been  sent  to  a  District 
Military  Prison ;  if  a  commissioned  officer,  other  than  a 
Royal  one,  he  would  have  been  dismissed  the  service.  The 
difference  between  the  Prince  of  Wales  and  the  Duke  of 
Edinburgh  is  this  :  in  the  first  case,  the  virtues  of  the  Prince 
equal  his  intelligence  ;  in  the  second  case,  the  intelligence 
of  the  Duke  is  more  developed  than  are  his  virtues. 

In  the  case  of  Broadwood  vs.  the  Duke  of  St.  Albans, 
both  the  Ro}Tal  brothers  were  permitted  to  guard  a  pleasant 
incognito.  The  Judge  who  allowed  this  concealment  was 
soon  afterwards  created  a  Peer  of  the  Realm. 

Our  army  and  navy,  without  reckoning  the  Indian 
Establishment,  cost  more  to-day,  by  about  £9,000,000  a 
year,  than  when  her  Majesty  ascended  the  throne.  Her 
Majesty's  cousin,  George  William  Frederick,  Duke  of 
Cambridge,  is  Commander-in-Chief  of  the  Army,  and  for 
this  service  receives  £4,432  per  annum.  His  Royal 
Highness  also  receives  the  sum  of  £12,000  in  consequence 
of  his  being  a  cousin  of  the  Queen.  His  Royal  Highness  is 
also  Field-Marshal,  and  Colonel  of  four  distinct  regiments, 
for  which  he  gets  more  than  £5,000  annuall}'.  Naturally,  in 
the  Duke  is  found  embodied  the  whole  military  talent  of 
the  Royal  Family.  His  great-uncle,  the  Duke  of  Cumberland, 
carved  "  Klosterseven "  on  the  Brunswick  monuments. 
Frederick  Duke  of  York,  the  uncle  of  the  Duke  of  Cam- 


bridge,  recalled  from  the  field  of  battle,  that  he  might  wear 
in  peace  at  home  the  laurels  he  had  won  abroad,  added 
"  Clarke  "  and  "  Tonyn  "  as  names  to  vie  with  Cressy  or 
Waterloo.  The  present  Duke  of  Cambridge  was,  when 
Prince  George,  stationed  in  Yorkshire,  in  the  famous  "  plug 
plot "  times,  and  his  valiancy  then  threatened  most  lustily 
what  he  would  do  against  the  factory  "  turnouts,"  poor 
starved  wretches  clamoring  for  bread.  In  the  army,  the 
normal  schoolmasters  can  tell  how  this  brave  Brunswicker 
rendered  education  difficult,  and  drove  out,  one  by  one, 
many  of  the  best  teachers.  Soldiers  who  think  too  much, 
make  bad  machines.  It  was  the  father  of  the  present  Duke 
of  Cambridge  who  publicly  expressed  his  disbelief,  in  1844 
—  5,  of  the  failure  of  the  potato  crop  in  Ireland,  "  because 
he  had  always  found  the  potatoes  at  his  own  table  very 
good  ! " 

For  many  years  her  Majesty's  most  constant  attendant 
has  been  a  Scotsman,  John  Brown.  This  person  so  seldom 
leaves  her  Majesty  that  it  is  said  that  some  years  since  the 
Queen  insisted  on  his  presence  when  diplomatic  communi- 
cations were  made  to  her  Majesty ;  and  that,  when  escorting 
the  Queen  to  Camden  House,  on  a  visit  to  the  ex-Emperor 
Napoleon,  Mr.  Brown  offered  her  his  arm  from  the  carriage 
to  the  door.  Afterwards,  when  an  idiotic  small  boy  — 
armed  with  a  broken  pistol,  loaded  with  red  flannel,  and 
without  gunpowder  —  made  a  sham  attack  on  her  Majesty, 
Mr.  Brown  courageously  rushed  to  the  Queen's  aid,  and  has 
since  received  a  medal  to  mark  his  valor. 

For  many  years  her  Majesty  has  taken  but  little  part  in 
the  show  ceremonials  of  State.  Parliament  is  usually  opened 
and  closed  by  commission  —  a  robe  on  an  empty  throne, 
and  a  speech  read  by  deputy,  satisfying  the  Sovereign's 
loyal  subjects.  It  is,  however,  the  fact  that  in  real  State 
policy  her  interference  has  been  most  mischievous,  and  this 


especially  where  it  affected  her  Prusso-German  relatives.' 
In  the  case  of  Denmark  attacked  by  Prussia  and  Austria, 
and  in  the  case  of  the  Franco-Prussian  War,  English  Court 
influences  have  most  indecently  affected  our  foreign  rela- 

•  Her  Majesty  is  now  enormously  rich,  and  —  as  she  is  like 
her  Royal  grandmother — grows  richer  daily.  She  is  also 
generous,  Parliament  annually  voting  her  moneys  to  enable 
her  to  be  so  without  touching  her  own  purse. 

It  is  charged  against  me  that  I  have  unfairly  touched 
private  character.  In  no  instance  have  I  done  so,  except 
.as  I  have  found  the  conduct  of  the  individuals  attacked 
affecting  the  honor  and  welfare  of  the  nation.  My  sayings 
and  writings  are  denounced  in  many  of  the  journals,  and  in 
the  House  of  Lords,  as  seditious,  and  even  treasonable. 
My  answer  is,  that,  fortunately,  Hardy,  Tooke,  and  Thel- 
wall  heard  "  Not  Guilty "  given  as  the  shield  -against  a 
criticism  which  dared  to  experiment  on  persecution.  In 
case  of  need,  I  rely  on  a  like  deliverance.  I  do  not  pretend 
hereto  have  pleaded  for  Republicanism ;  I  have  only  pleaded 
against  the  White  Horse  of  Hanover.  I  admire  the 
German  intellect,  training  the  world  to  think.  I  loathe 
these  small  German  breast-bestarred  wanderers,  whose  only 
merit  is  their  loving  hatred  of  one  another.  In  their  own 
land  they  vegetate  and  wither  unnoticed ;  here  we  pay  them 
highly  to  marry  and  perpetuate  a  pauper  prince-race.  If 
they  do  nothing,  they  are  "  good."  If  they  do  ill,  loyalty 
gilds  the  vice  till  it  looks  like  virtue. 



DA  Bradlaugh,  Charles 

472  The  impeachment  of  the 

B82  House  of  Brunswick